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Sowing Seeds of Success: Unlocking Winter's Garden Potential

Mastering Winter Seed Sowing: A Comprehensive Guide to Growing Your Garden Year-Round In Canada

women pants seedlings in eco-friendly pots, pots on wooden background, small bag with ground and garden trowel and rakes
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With 4 weeks into winter and our gardens closed for the season, there is that assumption that the growing season is over. However, with the right knowledge and techniques, winter can be an ideal time to start sowing seeds for a generous spring and summer harvest!

Below, we will explore the art of seed sowing during the winter months, view the benefits, suitable plants for each zone in Canada, and the step-by-step process to ensure your garden thrives even when the temperature drops.

What Are The Benefits of Winter Seed Sowing?

Closeup of human hand planting organic pea seeds in a pea tray
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Extended Growing Season:

One of the primary advantages of winter seed sowing is extending the growing season. If you live in areas around Canada where warm weather is limited, seed sowing is a great alternative. By starting seeds indoors during the colder months, you can get a head start on the growing process, allowing your plants to mature and produce earlier than if you were to wait for spring.

Hardier Plants:

Seeds sown in winter tend to produce more robust and resilient plants. Exposure to cooler temperatures and fluctuating conditions during the germination process can lead to sturdier seedlings, thus better equipped to handle the challenges of the outdoor environment.

Disease Prevention:

Indoor seed sowing minimizes the risk of certain diseases and pests that may be more frequent in outdoor environments during warmer seasons. This can result in healthier plants and reduce the need for chemical extermination

Cost Savings:

Growing your plants from seeds is often more cost-effective than purchasing mature plants from nurseries. By starting your seeds in winter, you can save money while enjoying a variety of plant options!


Suitable Plants for Winter Seed Sowing in Canada

Not all plant seeds are capable seed sowing in the winter. Each province can experience different weather conditions during the winter months. For example, British Colombia experiences a milder winter compared to Ontario. Check your gardening zone number provided by Natural Resources Canada to know your planting zones and frost dates on when to start sowing your seeds. Therefore, it is essential to choose varieties that can thrive in the cooler temperatures and lower light conditions.

Below are examples of seeds that are suitable to be sowed in Southern Ontario (zones 5b, 6a, 6b)

Cold-Hardy Vegetables:



Brussels Sprouts









How Do I Start Winter Seed Sowing

Human hand plants seeds in a pot
Source: Natallia Boroda / Canva Pro

Winter seed sowing could seem intimidating, especially for beginner gardeners. However, it is easier than you think! Let's look into the step-by-step process to ensure your seeds get the best start possible.


Step 1: Gather Supplies

Assemble all the necessary materials, including seed trays, seed starting mix, seeds, labels, and a watering can with a fine spray nozzle. Reusing plastic take-out containers with removable lids is a sustainable option to use for your seed trays. Remember, not all seeds are made equal! Make sure you choose seeds that are appropriate for winter sowing.

Step 2: Choose the Right Location

Identify a suitable location for your seed trays. A south-facing windowsill or a well-lit indoor area with consistent temperatures between 15-21°C is ideal. Consider using supplemental grow lights if your natural light is limited in your homes.


Step 3: Prepare Seed Trays

Fill the seed trays with a high-quality seed starting mix, leaving a small indent at the top. Moisten the mix with water and our organic biofertilizer until it's evenly damp. Adding our fertilizer into the soil first makes sure it is packed with nutrients for the seed to start germinating.

Label each tray with the plant variety and the date of sowing. This allows you to track the progress of each seed type and plan for transplanting.

Step 4: Sow Seeds

Carefully follow the recommended planting depth and spacing for each type of seed. Use a pencil or small stick to create individual holes for the seeds. Gently cover the seeds with a thin layer of soil and pat down lightly.

Spray the trays with our organic biofertilizer mix to avoid displacing the seeds. Ensure that the soil remains consistently moist but not saturated. Consider covering trays with plastic wrap or a humidity dome to retain moisture.

Keep an eye on the temperature and light conditions. If you are using grow lights, maintain a consistent period of light with about 12-16 hours per day. Adjust the lights to keep them 2-3 inches above the seedlings as they grow.

Step 5: Seedling Growth

Once the seedlings have developed a few leaves, thin them to ensure proper spacing and allow for optimal growth. Use small scissors to snip excess seedlings at soil level rather than pulling them out.


Step 6: Harden Off Seedlings

Bring the seedlings outdoors for them to get used to the conditions a week or two before transplanting. Start with a few hours of outdoor exposure and gradually increase the time each day.


Step 7: Transplant Seedlings

When seedlings are strong and temperatures are suitable (usually after the frost date), transplant them into your garden or larger pots. Be mindful of recommended spacing and planting depths for each variety.


Start Seed Sowing!

paper bags with seeds for planting. Sprinkled seeds for garden on wooden table
Source: TanyaJoy / Getty Images

Winter seed sowing is a rewarding practice that allows gardeners to enjoy an extended growing season. This activity is also a great way to get a head start in your spring and summer gardens during the winter months.

By selecting suitable varieties, providing optimal growing conditions, and following a step-by-step process, sowing seeds in the winter will allow you to cultivate hardy and resilient plants by the spring and summer months.

The versatility of our organic biofertilizer will add the necessary nutrients the seeds needs to develop strong and healthy roots.

Start your winter seed sowing journey today and experience your thriving garden as it emerges from the Canadian cold!



Nurture Growth organic biofertilizer bottle




Blogger Biography

Freda is a Toronto-based social media and digital marketer. New to the plant world, she is looking forward to learning all the tips and tricks on how to keep her plant babies thriving! If she's not walking her maltipoo Leo, you can find her practicing yoga or enjoying live music.

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