Winter Sowing and Light Requirements
I have always found the light/dark requirements one of the oddest ideas I've encountered concerning seed germination. I have never ever paid attention to it....even before I developed Winter Sowing. Seeds need darkness to germinate? Seeds need light to germinate?
Darkness: Where on earth does Mother Nature sow seeds in total darkness...total darkness exists in deep caves or at the poles of the earth during their winter. Mother Nature does not sow seed in either of those places.
24 hours of light: Where does total light exist? On the sun or the poles during their summer....but at the poles that's not even a complete 24 hour cycle.
So how do seeds germinate in the wild without their total recommended requirements? Simple. For every day there is also the night.
Winter Sowing does not use the "light requirements" that professional bulk-order nurseries use indoors to force seeds into germination in order to bring them to market at a desirable time.
Mother Nature controls the germination of Winter Sown seeds...it produces stock that is far hardier than that which is produced by artificially forced indoor germination. Every time you remove an element of Mother Nature when you germinate seeds you remove some of their vigor. All those time tables, temperature charts, and light requirements were created for commercial nurseries to produce stock which can be marketed just as it is coming into bloom. Plants grown this way are forced with controlled light into artificial bloom periods, as well as grown with excessive fertilizer to attain a specific industry size.
Winter Sown germination is never forced, the seedings are put in the ground while very small and initially fed with weak fertilizer solutions. They come into bloom at their own right time, and they achieve their height and width at a gradual pace....they develop naturally and are vigorous and healthy because of it.
Seed sowing and germination should be simple...that IS the emphasis of Winter Sowing. We do less work and are rewarded with more seedlings because of it. It's an uncomplicated method....keeping it simple will always keep it fun.