Thanks for the feedback, Steve! Your Sarracenia sowing...basically winter-sowing? I've been interested in doing that, but it seems our south Alabama winters are not consistent in regards to temperature and rain. It may be any combination of those two...temps in the 70's and no rain, temps in the 50's and drowning....vice-versa...and all kinds of other combinations. The last few years it does seems that the winters are a tad cooler/colder with less rain, though. In our area people *normally* use a "rule of thumb" of not planting their gardens until after the "Easter snap". The "Easter snap" being a phenomenon of a moderate to heavy frost/freeze a week or two before Easter each year...and it doesn't matter when Easter is, the frost varies to align with the timing of Easter. Sounds strange, but (many) more years than not it follows that pattern. It can pretty well be depended on to be the last frost of the spring. With winter-sowing my concern would be that during a warm spell the seeds may germinate and then BOOM!!!...the Easter snap frost hits. I live roughly 10-12 miles north of where D. filiformis some pitchers have grown in the past (I haven't been able to spot either of them in the wild, though). Apparently these plants were able to produce seed and grow in our climate, so maybe winter-sowing would work afterall and the concern about the late frost is warrantless. You've got me thinking.
You're in the UK, do you know what your equivalent USDA gardening zone would be? On the updated USDA map I'm in 8b...I was straddling 8a/8b prior to the update. I'm curious about it especially in regards to your drosera seed planting timing. Thanks for the feedback!!!
We also have something similar over here with regard to Easter, the plant nurseries know that it's a bank holiday for us, so for a few weeks before they have bedding plants hanging baskets, etc up for sale and everyone goes crazy, buys them and plants them, then as you say the frost hits them and they have to start again. Every time no matter when Easter occurs.
From what I can gather from the somewhat variable hardiness maps of the UK, I am in zone 8, probably 8B in these days of global warming, and I find that out in my bogs, there are a plethora of seedlings that just self-set themselves from flowers that I have missed collecting in autumn. So rather than do a fridge stratification I thought I need 8 weeks or more of cold wet stratification, so I plant them in December on a very wet medium, and they are ready to go from March but don't normally appear till May. The porch is attached to the house and is glazed so acts as a mini greenhouse but gets cold with the level of cold being tempered by the heat from the house. then in March they go outside to my unheated greenhouse where they sit till they decide its time to grow.
As seeds, they do get frozen on occasion, but not frequently, but with them being cold they don't germinate till after the frosts so the seedlings seldom get frosted till year two. But the seeds outside in the bogs, have no protection from wind, rain, frost, snow etc, and seem to grow very well.
I start the drosera seeds off later as they are smaller and would probably have a larger failure rate if left all winter in the cold/wet.