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Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

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Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

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Tuesday - August 07, 2007

From: Anacortes, WA
Region: Northwest
Topic: Wildflowers
Title: Wildflower seed planting time in Northwest US
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

What is the best time to plant wildflower seeds in the northwest United States?

ANSWER:

We always feel the best time to plant anything is in the Fall. For one thing, the weather is usually more pleasant and more predictable. You will probably get earlier bloom in the Spring from those seeds having had several months to prepare themselves. One exception to that would be if your plans were to plant on a slope. In a case like that, where Fall rains could erode away the soil and wash away the seeds, it would be better to plant them in the Spring. Then, they at least have a sporting chance to get up above the ground and maybe some roots put down before the next heavy rain. Summer is never recommended-the seeds will come up all right, but they will be met with heat and critters wishing to have the baby plants for a little salad. And, the clincher to the argument is, there is so much to do in the garden in the Spring. In the Fall, the weather is usually nice, you have less other stuff to do, and you can actually enjoy the process. After all, show consideration for the gardener, too.
 

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