The is the last of a four-part mini-series on winter sowing! I sure hope you will give it a try this winter! I'd love to hear from you on how it's going!
Today I will demonstrate how to prepare the potting soil, plant the seeds, and where to place the jugs. Now is certainly the time to involve the kids!
Enjoy today's video for the next step to take in How to Winter Sow. However, for safety reasons, please make sure YOU as the ADULT do this phase without the kids. Please make sure you read yesterday's post first, as all steps are sequential. Tomorrow? Winter Sowing Day 3.
When I moved to this yard and started making garden plans, I didn’t have any grow lights, and the process of buying them, setting them up in my basement, and finding room to start all the plants I wanted to grow seemed overwhelming. So when I heard about winter sowing, I was intrigued. Oh, and by the way, you read my first sentence correctly — I moved here for the yard, the best I could find within the limitations I had for budget and location. The “house” . . . well, it came with the deal. But I digress.
Winter sowing is a method generally attributed to Trudi Davidoff and has steadily grown in popularity as an alternative to starting seeds inside using grow lights, seed trays, and the like. Winter sowing is exactly what it implies — an outdoor method of planting your summer garden anywhere from December through April. Outside. In milk jugs, which act like little greenhouses. After you get set up, Mother Nature takes over.
To better understand winter sowing, I joined a few facebook groups on the topic, searched the internet on the practice, and finally concluded, “What the heck? Let’s give this a try!” That was last winter. Although I am certainly not an expert, I figure if I can do some winter sowing with my grandkids, you can do it with your kids, too!
This week, I will be giving you a step-by-step blueprint, a lesson plan, of sorts. As a veteran teacher, I relate to that format! Winter sowing DOES take preparation, and since this is all about gardening with kids, like any good teacher who wants to make a lesson successful, good preparation is required.
For Day 1, gather the materials. If I were you, this first year do anywhere from a few jugs to a dozen, or just gather as many jugs as you can. Next year, if you like it, do more.
Sound like a plan?
Tomorrow, we will take Step 2, which you'll need to do when the kids aren’t around. The kids should NOT be anywhere near you during THIS PART of the preparation process! But I’ll cover that tomorrow.
See you then!
(If you want a bit more background on winter sowing, this gives you a brief overview).
I am all about creating memories with kids in the garden. I feel it is how we "embed" the "gardening code" into their lives so that they will grow up wanting to garden someday. One of my favorite memory-creating activities with my grandkids is providing a space for them to have miniature gardens, or as they are commonly called, Fairy Gardens. I put together a 4-5 minute video below to get you started. January and February is the perfect time to start planning for these miniature gardens and gathering what you need. When a nice warm day arrives in March or April, the kids will want to get outside to set up their gardens. Here are links to lihe resource books I mention in the video: Miniature Gardens by Katie Elzer-Peters; Fairy Gardening 101 by Fiona McDonald; Fairy World Crafts by Kathy Ross.
A few weeks ago, I had my grandkids look at a few seed catalogs I get every year. One got the Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds catalog and the other got the West Coast Seeds catalog. I asked each to pick out five veggies they would like to grow this year. As expected, my granddaughter gravitated to the beets and peas section of the catalog, while my grandson went straight for the berries! I love that they each have their favorites (don't we all?) and that part of building the anticipation of gardening in the spring is this "dream" stage. I mean, what else can you do when it is snowing and 30 degrees outside in January?
Have you had a chance to go to the Tools and Resources page of the website yet? Check out information that will help you, especially if you are a beginning gardener. Today, I just posted a new resource, a quick 4-5 minute video on When to Plant Seeds. Head on over to find your growing zone, frost dates, and links to growing guides, as well as calendars and other how-to videos in a beginning gardener series.
I'm SO GLAD you joined me today! Whether you're a new gardener or an experienced one, I hope this is a place where you'll find some fun and easy ways to help you garden with your children! This is my first blog entry, and you may read it shortly after I launched this new website. I hope you will return often as I continue to add new entries, gardening resources, and great ideas on the topic of gardening with kids.
I suspect you are already interested in fresh, organic food and try hard to serve healthy meals to your families! Great! You probably attend farmers markets or belong to a *CSA. If so, I encourage you to choose this year to take things to the next level by sharing the joy of growing YOUR OWN organic food with your kids!
- What could taste better than to grow fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs at home or as a part of a community garden?
- What better way to show kids where food comes from than to walk outside and pick it?
- What better way to encourage our kids to embrace healthy eating habits than to model for them how much fun it can be to grow food together as a family?
That's how I started -- in my grandmother's garden (see About page for my story). I now garden with my own grandkids, and believe me, if I can do, YOU CAN DO IT! Today is January 3, and here in the Midwest, it's freezing cold. But it's time to start planning for the growing season ahead.
Sooooo, are you ready? Let's get growing?
*CSA (Community Sustained Agriculture)