A Winter Sowing Wizard

©StephieMcCarthy

© Stephie McCarthy

Plant and protect seeds in winter,
with plastic storage bins …

Winter sowing is one of those revolutionary ideas
that can change a gardener’s world forever …

©StephieMcCarthy

… especially if you live in a Northern climate
or high altitude where the growing season
is short and the winters are long.

©StephieMcCarthy

Using recycled containers like milk jugs
was far too clumsy for me, because I couldn't
store them very well in summer.

©StephieMcCarthy

I use normal nursery pots and fit them
inside of large storage bins I've prepared for
outdoor use. The bins protect the seedlings from
wind, pets, and rodents.

©StephieMcCarthy

The seedlings will be growing a few weeks early
with this system, and save a great deal of
space indoors, since they live outdoors.

©StephieMcCarthy

Even if you use recycled jugs for pots,
keep them in a bin like this
so they'll be protected over winter
from people with clumsy snow boots .

©StephieMcCarthy

I put several holes in the tops and one
in each corner in the bin bottoms
for air and drainage.
I make the holes myself with
a soldering iron outdoors, but if you don’t have
that tool, use a drill or an awl.

©StephieMcCarthy

I can easily bring these containers indoors for a few days
to jump start the sprouting process.

Be sure to check as the weather warms that drainage
is good and seedlings are not getting too warm.

©StephieMcCarthy

You can use the bins without their tops later as mini hothouses
like the round cake container above.

Prop up or remove the lid as temperatures rise.

©StephieMcCarthy

Bins like these will last approximately four years
outdoors before getting brittle.

Hardy plants like mustards and parsley thrive all
winter, even in snow, with a little protection.
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And who doesn't love freshly picked herbs, especially in winter!

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cupcake garden

©StephieMcCarthy

5"x7" Greeting Card
A garden party in a magical setting calls for an amazing cake, with crushed candies, sprinkles, and icing sugar. A treat for the eyes in this fanciful garden background, and a candle that never goes out.

Artist
© Stephie McCarthy

nest collage

©StephieMcCarthy

10" x 10"
Canvas Print

A highly detailed nest with eggs in the foreground, lace and antique almanac page in the background.

Artist
© Stephie McCarthy