I live in zone
5-6 so our growing
season is short. Also, I am the world worst seed
grower. I have never been happier since I discovered winter sowing. If you read the article on winter sowing you know that this is the best no care method for hardy to your zone
I do not start mine until Jan - Feb. I discovered it is best to start your seeds
when you will not have long above freezing weeks. That is why I start mine in Jan. Last year we had a long warm spell but it was raining so things that came up did fine because they were getting moisture. Do not worry if they grow and it turns cold. Remember they have not been grown in a protected environment so they are tough enough to know how to slow the growth until it is warm again.
I think anyone that does not have a lot of seed growing
time should try this method. I am not home sometime for weeks so I did not have time to water seedlings
when they were coming up and that hardening off thing was out of the question.
I start my jugs after Christmas. I put my soil in them and put them in the garage until I am ready to plant. Then all I have to do is sprinkle my seeds
put the label on the bottles set them outside and wait for spring
/summer and plant. No need to harden off because they are ready to deal with the outside world because that is where they began.
So this is my timeframe
-Dec 27th - Get my Jugs ready put in the garage
-Jan New Years Day go through my seeds
, plan and write my labels
-Jan - Presidents Day Plant my Jugs and label - Sprinkle and label set them outside. I put them in a box to carry them outside so I only make a couple of trips to take them outside.
-May-June - Plant in the garden. They are strong plants with great root system.
I found the only people that had a bad time with this method was thinking you could winter sow annual plants in the winter. Unless it is a marigold, or cosmos or any other annual that may self sow in the garden ANNUALS DO NOT WINTER SOW. Winter sow is good for hardy plants for your zone
I hope this helps you. I am not an expert but if you have any other questions I will try to answer. It has been a life saver for me. It has been a joy for a full time travel job, not at home gardener.