With winter sowing, you do not have to have a light system set up down in your basement or trays in every window in spring. You can do it in winter and let nature take its course.

First, you will need some thing to start your seedlings in. This can be old domed starter trays, clear covered containers or some thing as simple as cleaned, recyclable soda or milk bottles. What ever you use you have to make sure you have slits or holes in the top for water to get in and on the bottom for drainage.

I prefer to use the soda bottles as it is something of great supply in our home. As you do not need the caps of the bottles I save them and donate them to a daycare center. You will need to cut the bottles in half with a utility knife or an old pair of scissors. Then cut a slit or thin V shape about 1″ long, down the top of the bottom half of the bottle. This is so the bottom of the bottle can squish together a bit, and then the top of the bottle can fit over the bottom to form its dome, once it has been prepared for planting.

Prepare for planting: Cut slits in the bottom of your bottles, trays or clear containers, the tops also if you are not using bottles. Put in 2″-3″ of a good soil mixture into each bottle or container. Poke in a few seeds, I use 3 seeds per soda bottle; some people will put in 10 seeds and some only 1, just personal preference. Do use seeds meant for your zone. Put the top half of the bottle over the bottom, forming a dome. Write on each bottle or container of what seeds were planted with a permanent marker.

Take bottles and place in a milk crate or some kind of box or container that has drainage. Something that will help protect the bottles from the winds of winter or playful pets. Set outside where rain or snow will fall on bottles.

Check your bottles in late winter or early spring, and make sure that they do have enough water and proper sun. When seedlings are at the height you want, and all fear of frosts are gone, plant in desired area.

There are many of seeds you can try, annuals, perennials and vegetables. Perennial plants tend to be costly, so this is a good way to get a start on perennials for you and a friend. Some vegetables it is really nice to get this early start.

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