If You Want Bluebonnets in Spring, Plant Your Seeds In October
It's time to think about planting your wildflower seeds, if you want bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes in your landscape next spring.
In fact, wildflowers are becoming an increasingly popular landscape choice to add color and natural beauty to any area. Unlike formal European-style gardens with straight lines, square corners and manicured edges, wildflower gardens have the appeal of low maintenance once established, requiring little water and less mowing.
There is a common misconception that wildflowers are easily grown from seed. Indeed, some species require little more than casting the seed on the soil and waiting for growth. Most wildflowers, however, require specific soil and temperature conditions, a certain degree of ongoing attention and most of all, patience.
For years, seed purveyors have tried to assist customers in wildflower selection by labeling each species with an average "planting success" rate on a scale of 10-100 percent. Wildflower species with a lower rating may require more time and attention, but they will be well worth your effort. Additional information about the temperament of each species is included within their descriptions.
Unlike ornamental flower or vegetable seeds, most of wildflower seeds have not been genetically altered to achieve specific traits such as rapid germination, height, color or adaptation to specific soil types or climates.
Many wildflower enthusiasts will back me up on this — it can often take two or three years to achieve a display to be proud of. The not-so-patient want a full-grown effect immediately, but in some cases it takes Mother Nature hundreds of years to achieve that. Nature plays an important role in the success or failure of all wildflower plantings. Adverse weather conditions — drought, hail, excessive rainfall — may seriously affect the success of your wildflowers.
In this part of the state, October and November are considered the optimum planting time. Many species will quickly germinate in order to allow seedlings enough time to establish a healthy root system before going dormant for the winter. However, some seeds may not germinate if the ground temperature is below 70 degrees. They will remain dormant until early spring.
In any case, keep in mind the two main keys to success when sowing wildflowers: The seeds need to be in contact with soil, and you've got to keep a handle on weed control.
To order seeds and get more answers about sowing wildflowers, see the website for Wildseed Farms in Fredricksburg.
10655 Stancliff - 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
For the first time in what seems like eons, I'll be doing a Sunday appearance this weekend. We will be setting up shop 11 a.m.-1 p.m. at Great Western Growers, 10655 Stancliff, a block behind the Holiday Inn near where U.S. 59 and Beltway 8 come together.
This is the wholesale nursery that, for several years now, I've been encouraging you to visit. Interestingly, many other wholesale nurseries have recently opened to the public. Great Western has been for years.
We will also be showing off and giving away a new version of the Lemmonhead T-shirt. Tune in GardenLine Saturday and Sunday mornings for instructions on how to win. (I'm betting that purchasers of a dollyload of plants will be awarded one.) Plus, the first 30 Lemmonheads who show up and ask for a free tri-color stromanthe will get one! And the longer you hang around, the more free stuff you could go home with — GWG will give away esperanzas, butterfly roses, rosemary and lemongrass every 15 minutes!
exclusively on NewsRadio 740 KTRH.
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