What I’m Winter Sowing in January –

Since I’ve started posting about seed starting and winter sowing, one of the most common questions I get is “what do I winter sow and when?” This year, I’m attempting to help answer that question by making a series of posts showing what plants I’m actually planting each month. I generally start the winter sowing process around January 21st. This is around the same time that the day length in my growing zone surpasses 10 hours.

My last frost date is usually around the first week of May. This means that there is still tons of cold weather left in the season. Therefore, I’ll need to focus on plants that are able to withstand the cold should they germinate early. Most of the seeds I’ll be planting now are hardy annuals or perennials. It is especially easy to winter sow these types of seeds because many of them need a period of cold stratification.

Once the seeds have been sowed, they’ll germinate when the time is right. The important thing to remember about the process is that these seedlings will be transplanted out into the garden before the last frost date. I usually transplant as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. This will ensure that the plants have plenty of time to get established before the heat of summer arrives.

What I’m Winter Sowing in January…



Annual Phlox



Scented Stocks.






Bachelor’s Buttons

Scabiosa Pincushion


Ornamental Kale

Sweet Peas

7 thoughts on “What I’m Winter Sowing in January –

  1. Absolute beginner here! I’m guessing these plants will be in your hoophouse? Do you start them in the usual seed trays? Just curious because I know sweet peas grow deep. I love your blog and how-to’s – I’m zone 6b in southwestern Indiana.

    1. All the trays will be in the unheated low tunnel. I normally direct sow sweet peas, but they can definitely be started using the winter sowing method using two liter bottles with lots of soil. The key is to plant them in one clump, rather than separating them. Thanks for reading!

  2. Hello!! Can you show us how to pull apart the seedlings from the containers? I worry I’m going to damage them trying to transplant them into the garden. Have you tried hollyhock or foxglove? Thank you

    1. I think I have a YouTube video about transplanting the winter sowing containers. I would have to look for it. As for the hollyhocks, I would direct sow them. They seem to really, really hate have the roots disturbed. Hope that helps! 🙂

  3. I have started a bunch of seeds for winter sowing indoors, no heat just window light and they are all up! I hope they survive, lol .Thanks to your youtube video showing where to get rare cut flower seeds I bought from Floret and Baker creek seed co , also Walmart and dollar tree! Lol, I’m so excited to have dahlias up , do they bloom the first year when starting from seed? I’m from Eastern Ky , Thanks for all you do!

  4. I’m in zone 3b Canada. This will be my first time winter sowing how early should I start. Could I put them in the garage where it’s still cold but really no sunlight?

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