Would this work? (Wildflower propogation ?)

adidas(6/7)August 2, 2012

I have 5 small acres. Half is wooded (cove forest in Appalachians) and the rest is a sort of meadow area on a slope w/LOTS and LOTS of boulders jutting out...there are thistles, golden rods, dog bane, lots of invasives around the edges of the meadow and the wood. I have a bunch of asclepias seeds and some other wildflowers and I want to just scatter them in the weedy area. I am sure germination rates would not be as high as it would if I propogated these in controlled conditions but would I get any rate of germination at all if I just let nature take its course? Has anyone scattered seeds around in this manner w/out properly preparing a seed bed and had success? Even a little success?

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The Hayefield blog may provide you with a few ideas,

Here is a link that might be useful: HAYEFIELD A PENNSYLVANIA PLANT GEEK'S GARDEN

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 11:22AM
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Thanks for your input and the link. Looked very similar to my home (log house also!) and land but the author was able to buy some bushes and it seems that they've done a bit of organized landscaping...even though they found that formal spacing wasn't quite working for them. In my case, however, I do not have the time or equipment to landscape. Nor do I have the $ to buy bushes. What I have done is to collect a lot of seeds from the plants of friends and I wondered what the germination rate (roughly) would be like if I were to dump a bunch of seeds onto unprepared land which is already covered by bushes, wildflowers, among which are some invasives. I did try to eradicate some overly vigorous species by hand but it has all grown back overnight. If I were to throw Asclepias tuberosa seeds out among the dogbane and thistles would they germinate?

    Bookmark   August 2, 2012 at 1:02PM
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Every winter I toss seed it on my weedy roadside in hopes that something might take. Nothing has taken root after 5 years of doing this. Of course this may not be the best example, as my roadside is a very harsh environment.

You will certainly have more success if you clear and plant a small manageable garden plot of natives. That way you can control the competition and give your seeds a stronger foothold. In future years, you can harvest seeds from your plot to spread elsewhere as you suggest. Also, your small plot will likely spread seeds to other areas of your property without any help from you.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2012 at 5:02AM
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flora_uk(SW UK 8/9)

Different climate and conditions here but I have found it better to sow perennial wild flowers in pots and transplant plugs to where I want them. Young plants stand a better chance then seed.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:03AM
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nil13(z21 L.A., CA (Mt. Washington))

I agree with sowing in pots. I recommend, "Creative Propagation".

    Bookmark   August 18, 2012 at 12:49AM
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Like Teresa, I've tossed seed around every year. The only way they survive is if they are tossed onto bare soil and kept watered consistently until they germinate and grow a few inches.

The plants that do come up without this method are those that grow in the gravel of my driveway! They must work their way down under the gravel and stay moist there, and have no root competition.

Even the wildflower catalogs will tell you that you have to get rid of existing plants before you grow wildflowers. Many wildfower meadows need to be retilled every other year to get rid of natives and weeds.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2013 at 1:59PM
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