Passionate About Cincinnati
and the Moms Who Live Here

Cold Weather Gardening: Cure for the Winter Blues

Well, the holiday season is over and it is time for relaxation and recovery from December.  I enjoy January; in our family, it’s full of birthdays so it’s not the quietest month of the year.  However, for some people, January can be daunting.  It’s a long cold month and can be depressing.  

What if I told you I have a way to help cure those winter blues? It involves dirt, milk jugs, and seeds!  

Winter Sowing:

You can start your garden and flowers in JANUARY! Who knew?  Technically you can start on December 21st, which is the Winter Solstice.  However, I really enjoy doing it in January, when the hustle and bustle has settled down.

Basically, the milk jug acts as its own greenhouse and the cold weather (even snow!) helps the seeds.  From what I’ve read, the cold weather makes them stronger. I should mention I have a horrible green thumb, and this method worked for me last year.  It worked WAY beyond what I had imagined!  I had more flowers than I knew what to do with!  

So without further ado, let me show you how to do this!  Something about working with dirt really helps me on those gray January days.  

First step:  Collect all the milk jugs!  You can use any clear container (salad containers, 2 liter bottles), but I think milk jugs work the best.  If you don’t drink a lot of milk, you can ask people for theirs.  Or….go around your neighborhood and collect out of recycling and embarrass the tar out of your husband.  I also contacted a coffee shop and asked them to save their jugs for me.  

Second Step:  Cut around the middle, yet leave a small piece still attached. 

Winter Sowing

Third Step: Poke 6 drainage holes on the bottom.  I just used a screw driver.  

Fourth Step:  Fill it with potting soil and then soak with water.  I suggest putting them on a baking sheet.  You want to put a lot of water in there!  Get it sopping wet!

Winter Sowing

Fifth Step: Sprinkle your seeds down and rub into the soil. 

Sixth Step: Tape up the jug!


Seventh Step: LABEL!!!  Paint markers seemed to work the best for me last year.  Sharpies WILL fade!  

Winter Sowing

The final step is to put them outside!  Make sure you put them where the sun does shine!  The best part is watching them take off.  It is SO exciting in spring to see all these flowers and plants coming to life!  

Tada!  Winter Sowing

Winter sowing is really THAT easy!  It brings down the cost of gardening and buying flowers in the spring.  If you’re on Facebook, there is a group dedicated to winter sowing called Winter Sowers.  I hope this helps cure SOME Winter blues!  This is a great activity to get the kids involved with also.  My son really enjoyed helping me last year and then waiting for them to grow!  


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