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Anyone do any winter sowing, anything I can start off early. I have cuttings to try and take through. Just hoped I could discover some seed to sow through winter. I have lupin, green wizard, echinacea, scabiousa. 


Anyone got other ideas and hints and tips. Lets get busy!!


  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Many hardy perennials either require or will germinate better after cold stratification (the technical term for sowing and leaving over winter.)  The best bet is to sow half of your seeds in late autumn and the other half in spring, that way you're covered if any of the over-wintered ones fail.  A cold frame or unheated greenhouse is ideal as too much wet will often "do them in" if left in the open. 

    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • I have a plastic greenhouse, one of those pop up type, 4ft x3. Ish would that keep thinguh through winter or just too thin??

  • Keen to try this by sowing and leaving in trays in a cold frame. I want to try nicotiniana and echinacea.. Do I have to keep watering them throughout winter or just leave alone?

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 27,154

    are we talking about over winter sowing and chilling of hardy plants, or early sowing in warmth to get an early start?

    I have great experience of the first and none at all of the second

    In the sticks near Peterborough
  • BobTheGardenerBobTheGardener Posts: 11,391

    Keeping the worst of the rain off of them is the main thing rather than protecting them from the cold.  However, if they germinate before the winter, things get tricky and they would need something like your plastic greenhouse, Red Dahlia.

    Gill, you water once when sowing them and only need to keep the compost slightly damp after that.

    Have a read about cold stratification here:



    A trowel in the hand is worth a thousand lost under a bush.
  • Anyone started lupins now? Do you spread in a seed tray or modules??

  • Thank you Bob. That is very interesting and I will try soon. 

  • If sowing seed now. What's the opinion sow on compost and cover with.... Compost? Grit? Vermiculite? Perlite? Nothing?

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