The Ultimate Winter Sowing Supplies Checklist

Image Source: "Winter Sowing" by Cristina Sanvito licensed under CC BY 2.0

Now that you've decided to winter sow milkweed, the next step is to gather all the supplies. Discover which items you will need for your milkweed winter sowing project below.

1. Prepare Your Milkweed Seeds

First things first: make sure you have your milkweed seeds ready. Choose species that are native to your region for successful results. If you prefer to grow non-native varieties, it's recommended to do some research beforehand to know what issues you may encounter.

2. Choose The Best Container For Winter Sowing
Image Source: "Winter Sowing Containers" by Cristina Sanvito licensed under CC BY 2.0

The second thing you'll need is a container. There are several options available, and you'll want to try different containers to figure out which is more effective for you.

Things To Consider When Choosing Containers 
    1. The container must be clear enough to transmit light to the soil. Opaque containers have a tendency to encourage mold and moss in this case, the solution is to add more drainage holes. 
    2. The container should have the capacity to have four inches of soil, with plenty of room above for the seedlings to grow.
Top 10 Containers For Winter Sowing
    1. Plastic soda bottles
    2. Clear plastic cups
    3. Clear plastic storage bins
    4. Disposable food storage containers
    5. Rotisserie chicken containers with clear dome lids
    6. Baked goods plastic containers
    7. Clear plastic fruit containers
    8. Ice cream buckets
    9. Plastic milk jugs
    10. Distilled water jugs
3. Use A Quality Potting Soil
Image Source: "Germination" by Tim Patterson licensed under CC BY 2.0

The third item on the list is a quality potting soil. Use an all-purpose potting mix and avoid the moisture-control type because some milkweed varieties do not like additional moisture. You may also try a seed starting mix or prepare your own.

4. Gather Other Essential Tools

The other tools you will need are scissors or a utility knife, duct tape, a permanent garden marker, labels for your plants, as well as a tool (like a drill) to make drainage holes on your winter sowing containers.

With the right milkweed seeds, clear containers, quality potting soil and tools, you're on your way to growing beautiful milkweed plants to help our Monarch friends. Good luck!