The Q&A Archives: Winter sowing

Question: Can I winter sow purple coneflower seeds, I live in western new york/ zone 5?

Answer: Unfortunately I am not certain what you mean by winter sow. These seeds often germinate better after a winter chilling or cold stratification period. Under controlled conditions you can provide that by placing the seeds in a closed plastic bag or jar with some barely damp vermiculite and putting it in the refrigerator for a month or so, then plant the seeds normally either indoors under lights or outside in the garden. Some gardeners plant these seeds ouside in the fall so nature can provide the chill (these plants will self sow in the garden, too, if allowed to set seed) or you could experiment by tossing the seeds on the soil surface or sowing shallowly in late winter to early spring and see if they germinate once the weather turns. Good luck with your seeds!

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