Getting Things Growing: Winter Seed Sowing

winter seed sowingWhen you look out at a snowy vista, do you think about the seeds that are germinating underground, just waiting for the right conditions to emerge?  Former Illinois Master Gardener Julie Rand, does and she’s offering a hands-on program to get things growing.

“It’s easy to start seeds in recycled containers,” she says. She’s set up a Winter Seed Sowing 90-minute workshop on February 2 at 10:30 am at the Library. “Winter Sowing is a cheap and easy way to start seeds as early as January or February,” she says.

Participants are asked to bring their own clean recycled containers such as milk jugs and soda bottles. (Some will be on hand for those who don’t have them.) The library will supply seeds for Swiss chard, parsley, snapdragons, marigolds, kale, arugula, and other cold hardy plants, to plant in these re-purposed containers.

Julie explains that once planted, the containers are put outside where they act as a small terrarium or green house. The seeds germinate when the conditions are right.

There are both financial and ecological advantages to growing plants from seeds, according to Julie. It costs far less to start seeds than to buy plants, and you get a lot of plants from a single packet of seeds that usually costs about $2. Using recycled containers is a benefit to the environment as the need to buy seedlings in plastic pots is then eliminated.

Julie previously offered this popular workshop last year and participants encouraged her to do it again.  “This will be a lot of fun and offers easy and immediate gratification,” she promises. Everyone’s welcome (although it’s best if participating children are older than 5 or 6), even those who don’t have a garden or a plot of land. Even if you’re a balcony gardener or just want to start some fresh herbs, this is a good way to jump start the growing season.

The program will take place on Saturday, February 2, at 10:30 am to 12:00 pm in the Falcon Room on the third floor of the Main Library.  Please register online or by calling 847-448-8620.

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