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New to Winter Sowing Zone 8

Tricia Zone 8
December 29, 2015

So this will be my first year trying WS and I have poured through this forum and other website trying to learn. Despite our little snowstorm this weekend, temps have been quite warm. I was planning on putting my containers on the south porch but that gets quite a bit of sun and from what I have read on here, people in my zone typically keep them in the shade. Is that right? Anywhere I have in the shade that will be protected from my dogs will be on the north side of something most likely.

Also, since it's been so warm, I am guessing I will have to wait toward the end of Jan. early Feb? Right now it's 40s during the day and freezing at night but fixin to warm up again. What temps are you actually shooting for when starting to put containers out?

Comments (4)
  • morz8

    Tricia, what are you sowing? If you are sowing things that will germinate without a chill (stratifying), you may want to wait a little to sow those things. No point in having them germinate in a stretch of warm weather, be ready for planting before you are ready to plant them. Or, to have tender annuals germinate then be subjected to a later freeze.

    If you are sowing things that need the chill, might be best to get them out soon in your mild climate. I'm a cool summer Z8, and those things that require a moist chill before they will germinate do just fine with days in the 40's, 50's, nights colder or with frost. If your day/night temps are averaging somewhere close to 40 overall, its cold enough for the chill in my experience.

    My former house had a deck that was north facing and in winter shade. As spring approached and the angle of the sun changed, pots were in brighter and brighter light until finally full sun unless placed right up near the house. Worked fine. With this house, I have pots outside my office window on wire carts. Morning shade, afternoon sun. It works too. The seeds are not all that choosey ;)....but a pot will seldom dry out here, my climate too rainy for that to be a concern.

  • Tricia Zone 8


    Thank you for your response! I ordered my seeds last week and still waiting for them to arrive. I am still researching which need a chill or not. Here is what I ordered.

    Magnus Coneflower

    Gay Butterfly weed

    Black Eyed Susans

    Blue arrows Juncus

    Origami Mix Columbine

    A couple different Lavender plants

    Sunshine Columbine

    Double Ballon Flowers

    White Calamint

    Dwarf Sweet Peas


    I am trying to start a perennial garden in a place I have been wanting to plant for years but have been able to afford to do so which is why I am going with seeds. So I will find out which seeds need cold strat and start with those. I also ordered some more herbs but planned to wait on those a bit.

    If they will do ok on a north side I will probably start them there,,and gradually move them closer to sun as spring approaches. I have some petunia seeds I collected years ago (not even sure how long) that probably aren't any good anymore but will try them for fun and experience. Also have some shasta daisies and marigolds from walmart last year that I never could get to germinate last spring that I plan to try just to see if I have enough containers to do it. This sounds really fun and I am looking forward to it. Started getting milkjugs ready last night....just waiting for seeds to arrive now!

  • morz8

    That sounds great. If you aren't familiar with it, this is one of the better seed database sites...

    Clothiers Germination Database

  • Tricia Zone 8

    Thank you! I will def check that out!

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