Winter Sowing Results for Frost Tender Annual Flowers and Vegetables

This winter sowing season is finally coming to a close. If you’ve been following along here on the blog, you know that I did something a little different this year. Instead of using bottles, I decided to start seeds in trays using an unheated low tunnel. As you can see from the photos below, this method was a huge success. I’m so glad to be able to share it with you!

Overall, I had a great experience growing in trays. In fact, in sowing frost tender annuals, germination occurred in every single tray. However, some trays did have a little bit of grass pop up. I have no idea how this could have even happened, honestly.

In the past, I’ve had trouble growing sunflowers because the birds always ate the seeds. With this method, I was able to have 100% germination. Hopefully, I’ll be able to transplant these into their final location sometime soon. These are the varieties called ‘Procut Gold’ and ‘Procut Brilliance’. Both are absolutely fantastic for cut flowers.

Whoa! Look at that! Lots of amaranth, pumpkins, cantaloupes, nasturtiums, marigolds, peppers, tomatoes, and more!

I even winter sowed some popcorn seeds. Can you spot them? I’ve never had any luck planting popcorn in the ground, so I’m hoping that maybe this year will be different.

I always sow the amaranth seeds way too thickly. Luckily, you can plant them in clumps and it does really seem to make that big of a difference. I accidentally labeled the other half of the tray wrong. Those other seeds are “love in a puff” vines, not “love lies bleeding”.

Check out those zinnias! I really hope we can have a beautiful zinnia patch this year. Those are hyacinth bean seedlings in the background. Also, next to those are some ‘Sungold’ sunflowers. I think those are one of the “fuzzy” varieties, but I’m not absolutely certain.

The borage apparently loves growing in the low tunnel, because those seedlings are absolutely HUGE. In that same tray is the cilantro. I’ll likely transplant both of those crops very soon, as I know that they both have some tolerance to frost. The tray next to them are just some cosmos. I had some seeds left over from last year, so I threw them into a tray. Works great!

One thought on “Winter Sowing Results for Frost Tender Annual Flowers and Vegetables

  1. This is my kind of gardening. I would love to see step-by-step posts that show exactly how you set these up. I can’t figure out how you walk from one end to the other — is there a walking space not pictured? I’m also curious to know if you uncover these during the day, or is the light through the row cover enough. The seedlings do look super happy. I tend to plant my stuff super early and just cover as frost comes, but I haven’t tried with trays before.

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