What Can You Do for Pollinators in Winter?

Winter Sowing

Winter is the optimal season for sowing native seeds! Michigan native plants are naturally adapted to live in a Michigan climate, which brings periods of freezing temperatures. For optimal germination, many types of native seeds require exposure to cold, moist winter conditions in order to germinate and grow well. This process is called “stratification.”

For the best results, we recommend sowing your native seeds into protected containers and keeping them outside through the winter. This gives your seeds the best chance for germination and the plants will grow and bloom better during the growing season.

Check out this resource for a good way to sow your native seeds in winter:

Wild Seed Project's Guide:
Autumn and Winter Seed Sowing in 6 Easy Steps

by Heather McCargo

Here is a great interview with Heather McCargo, that was featured on the A Way to Garden Podcast, about winter sowing. It may answer some questions for you:

Winter Sowing of Native Plants with Heather McCargo
of the Maine Wild Seed Project

The following video, Winter Sowing Native Plants with the Expert, by Pennsylvania based gardener and pollinator advocate, Heather Andrews (Garden Thoughtfully) offers some great tips for using recycled containers, like gallon milk jugs for your winter sowing project.

NOTE: The video comes out of Pennsylvania, but the timing is basically the same for us here in SE Michigan. However, the resources they mention for getting seeds are NOT for SE Michigan. Please see our Resources page or our Locally Sown seed library for local native seeds!