Scheduling Is Key for Overwintering Success

Scheduling Guidelines


Johnny's Winter Growing Guide

Timing Your Planting Dates for Earliest Spring Harvest
Welcoming winter's end in Maine
Here in mid Maine, the Persephone Period ends on February 5th or 6th, when day light reaches 10 hours in duration.
Overwintering entails establishing very young plants that can survive the winter and resume growth extra early the following spring. Once day length increases to 10 hours these plantings will grow rapidly.

Keep in mind that wide fluctuations in late-winter temperatures may cause bolting before your overwintered crops reach a harvestable stage.

The most calculated approach to schedule seeding for overwintered crops involves seeding in the late fall, so germination and the first stages of growth occur before the plant goes dormant during the Persephone period. Growth will begin again when days begin to lengthen.

Another method involves sowing just before the ground freezes, so germination occurs after deep winter, as day length increases and temperatures warm. This method can result in a lot of dead seed, however, if conditions do not pan out. (There is a risk that a higher percentage of seeds will rot in the soil during cold, wet conditions.)

Use our clickable Overwintering Planting Chart to time your planting dates for earliest spring harvest. Keep in mind that the planting dates are back-scheduled from the last 10-hour day at your latitude. The number of weeks before the Persephone period is calculated for each listed crop. The crops are grouped, as outlined in the chart key, to reflect their reliability for overwintering success.