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Monday - August 06, 2007

From: Ladonia, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Time for planting wildflower seeds in East Texas
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I live in northeast Texas, and we have had abundant rains here. Can I plant some wildflower seeds now, and if so, what plants would be appropriate?

ANSWER:

We're delighted that you're planning to plant some more native wild flowers. A common saying is that "Nature plants wildflowers in the Fall." That's not always true, although it is true that seeds ripen and fall usually after a Spring or Summer blooming season. The climate is even mild enough that you could plant them in East Texas, where you live, in the Winter, but we would never recommend that they be planted in our hot summers. The reason for that is, the seeds would probably sprout pretty quickly, and the hot sun and possibly small predators would very quickly do those little seedlings in! And the heat isn't too good for the gardener, either.

One advantage of planting in the Fall is that the weather is usually milder. Another is that you will likely get an earlier bloom in the Spring from a seed planted in the Fall and allowed to winter over until the weather conditions are favorable. Considering all the rain we have been having in Texas (which may not happen again for a long time!) you don't want to plant on a slope in the Fall. Heavy rains can quickly erode away the soil and carry off your seeds. If you wish to seed on a slope, do it in the Spring, when the weather is already right for sprouting. Then you have a chance of the seedlings getting up and rooting before a rain comes to wash them away. If you're planting on level ground, Fall is still probably better.

You can read about growing wildflowers in our NPIN Clearinghouse Articles. You can find even more articles on the excellent American Meadows website on Wildflower Seed Planting Instructions that should tell you more than you ever needed to know about the process of planting. Take a look at it and if you think "too much information" just leave it and plant your seeds in peace. They have been coming up for millions of years without a single website to give instructions. You'll do fine.


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