On January 26th in central Maryland, the sunrise was 7:18am and the sunset is 5:18pm, marking an end to what has become known as the Persephone Period.
According to an article in the The Virginia Pilot:
“Horticulture has the term “Persephone Period”: the time of year when days have less than 10 hours of sunlight. With fewer than 10 hours of light, crop growth more or less stops.”The Virginia Pilot – The ‘Persephone Period’ and what it means for your wintertime gardening
To understand dormancy and how plants survive this cold period, the University of New Hampshire explains in the following article shared by Harford County Master Gardeners.
“During the winter, plants adapt to temperature changes by controlling when and where the water within them freezes. In a very real sense, plants create their own “antifreeze”. Individual plant cells accomplish this by accumulating sugars, salts, and other substances. These compounds are concentrated within the cells, decreasing their freezing point. Water moves from within each plant cell into the intercellular spaces thus protecting the cells from freezing. Ice crystals form in the interstitial spaces but not within the cells themselves.”Dormancy: A Key to Winter Survival- University of New Hampshire Extension
During this time of dormancy outside, it’s the perfect time to start seeds indoors! Seeds started now can be transplanted before the last frost around week 10. I use both seed trays and soil blocking with heat mats and grow lights in our cozy basement.
It’s also a great time for forcing bulbs indoors, like Amaryllis and Paperwhites. These amazing bulbs came from Leo Berbee Bulb Company.
I’m excited for spring and both our Fancy Tulip Subscription and Spring Bouquet Subscription! Order now and enjoy the best of the season when flowers bloom in spring! Visit the online shop for more information.
Archie and I are enjoying these quiet days with long walks. Thank you for following!
2 Replies to “Dormancy”
Great article – brings excitement for the things to come in the Spring!