One of the most common winter sowing questions I get from gardeners that are new to winter sowing is how do you choose the best seeds for winter sowing? There are tons of seeds that will work for winter sowing, and it’s easy to figure out which ones to use. Let me show you how…
Winter sowing is a fun and easy way to start seeds outside during the winter, and a great way to extend your planting season. If you’re unfamiliar with the winter sowing method for planting seeds, then start by reading this post… A Quick Start Guide To Winter Sowing Seeds
There’s no doubt that winter sowing is awesome, but.. (there’s always a “but” right?) you can’t just use any type of seed with the winter sowing method.
Some types of seeds work great, but others will only rot. It’s important to know what to look for to help figure out what seeds to winter sow.
What Seeds To Winter Sow
Generally speaking, perennial seeds, cold crop vegetables and herbs, and cold hardy annuals are the best seeds for winter sowing.
Some warm weather vegetables, like certain varieties of peppers and tomatoes, could work with the winter sowing method too. But (there’s that “but” again), depending on where you live, these warm weather veggies might not do very well.
The seeds of some warm weather vegetables may sprout when winter sown. But in cold climates like mine (Minneapolis zone 4b), they will sprout late, and might not have enough time to mature before it’s time to transplant them into the garden.
Related Post: Cleaning Winter Sowing Containers
If you’re unsure whether certain types of seeds will work for winter sowing or not, check the seed packets. There are certain keywords to look for that will tell you if that is the right type of seed to winter sow.
How To Choose The Best Seeds For Winter Sowing
Keywords like these are good indicators of seeds that will work well for winter sowing. Look for these keywords on the seed packet when choosing the best seeds for winter sowing…
- “self sowing”
- “direct sow outside in the fall”
- “direct sow outside in early spring”
- “cold stratification”
- “cold hardy”
If after reading the seed packet you’re still unsure if your seeds will work with winter sowing or not, then try experimenting!
Plant only one winter sowing container of the seeds, saving several seeds to start with your regular method. That way you will know if those seeds work with the winter sowing method.
And, if the winter sown seeds don’t grow, you still have your favorite seeds to sow in the spring. Heck, experimenting with different varieties of seeds is half the fun of winter sowing.
Winter Sowing Seed List
Here is a list of several types of seeds that work great with the winter sowing method. Of course, this isn’t meant to be an “all-inclusive” list.
This winter sowing seed list is just a small sample of seeds that have worked for me, and should help give you an idea of the types of seeds that work great for winter sowing.
Here’s a quick list with examples of some of the best seeds for winter sowing, sorted by type.
Seeds For Winter Sowing Annuals:
- Cosmos (I like Sea Shells and Psyche White)
- Marigold (Crackerjack and French are my favs)
- Morning glory
- Snapdragon (Night and Day Snapdragon is gorgeous)
- Sunflower (Autumn Mix is my favorite)
Seeds For Winter Sowing Perennials:
Here’s a great mix of winter sowing flower seeds that would be perfect if you’re just getting started!
Seeds For Winter Sowing Vegetables and Herbs:
- Beets (Bull’s Blood Beet are stunning and yummy too
- Broccoli (this variety did amazing in my garden this year)
- Brussels sprouts
- Cauliflower (I love this blend of heirloom varieties)
- Chives (both regular chives and garlic chives are a must in my garden)
- Collard greens (this is the variety I grow every year)
- Kale (I love Chinese Kale and Red Kale)
- Kohlrabi (Purple Kohlrabi adds wonderful color to the garden)
- Lettuce (I love Garnet Rose, Red Velvet and Mesclun Medley)
- Mustard (Mustard Red Giant is a must)
- Parsley (this is my favorite)
- Radicchio (Palla Rossa Mavrik is lovely)
- Radish (Round Black Spanish and Watermelon Mantanghong are both beautiful and delicious!)
- Summer Savory
- Swiss chard (Bright Lights Swiss Chard is a must for amazing color)
If you’re looking for a nice mix of seeds you can winter sow to get an early start your vegetable garden, this mix of edibles would be perfect to add to your winter sowing seed list.
Once you start experimenting and seeing the patterns in the different types of seeds, you’ll easily be able to figure out what seeds to winter sow in the future!
Do you want to learn more about how to winter sow your seeds? My Winter Sowing eBook would be perfect for you! It will teach you everything you need to know about how to winter sow your seeds. Download your copy today!
If you want to learn how to start all of your seeds (not just the ones you can winter sow) and how to mix the different seed starting methods to easily grow anything you want from seed, then my Seed Starting Course is just what you need! It’s an in-depth training that will teach you exactly how to grow any type of seed you want so that you can save tons of money every year on garden plants! Enroll in the course and get started today!
More Information About Winter Sowing
- Seed Starting Course
- Winter Sowing eBook
- Winter Sowing 101 (A Quick Start Guide)
- Choosing Winter Sowing Containers
- Winter Sowing FAQs – Winter Maintenance
- Winter Sowing During a Mild Winter
Products I Recommend
Other Winter Sowing Resources
Share your list of the best seeds for winter sowing in the comments section below.