Can I start recently collected wildflower seeds now for fall?

wilsocnJune 10, 2012

I was out for a hike yesterday and found hundreds of prairie coneflowers (Ratibida pinnata) and Daisies (Chrysanthemum leucanthemum) growing along an open field. I also have Sweet Williams growing along a wooded lot and I was able to collect a few seeds from each.

I was wondering if there is anything wrong with starting them from seed indoors now and setting them out in late September so they can get established before the cold weather gets here.

I know that winter sowing would be an option as well as just starting them in Spring but the truth is that I really like starting seeds and watching them grow before I set them out. I have a small butterfly garden I am working on and it currently has Purple Coneflowers and Black Eyed Susans growing and I would love to add these to the collection.

Thanks

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dandy_line(3B (Brainerd, Mn))

Well, up here I am still trying to get some of this years crop to germinate. I use July 4th as my cut off date. If things haven't germinated by then, it's over for this season.
You should be quite ok in your Z6 environment to start seeds now. But decide on a cutoff date.

By the way, your Chrysanthemums are not natives and considered invasive in a lot of areas.

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 12:34AM
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wilsocn

Thanks for the advice, dandy. You are right about the daisies. I wasn't aware of their weedy nature but read about them last night after already having posted this. I think I will just try and germinate some Shasta Daisies instead even though they are still not a native plant.

Thanks again for the help!

    Bookmark   June 11, 2012 at 11:16AM
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docmom_gw Zone 5 MI(5)

You can always copy Mother Nature and toss any seed onto the ground as soon as it is ripe. A little clearing out of other plants and roughing up the soil to allow better contact with the soil once it rains/gets watered. You could also summer sow--which is just like wintersowing, with the milk jug, etc, but at a later time. The advantages of the container are: constant ambient moisture to improve germination and prevent drying out as fragile seedlings, avoidance of washing away in a torrential downpour, avoiding the seeds and seedlings becoming lunch for some hungry rodent, and the containers are labeled, so you know what is growing and can plant it where ever you like and move them in and out of appropriate levels of sunlight/cold, etc.

Happy sowing!

Martha

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 4:09PM
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