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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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Wednesday - September 14, 2011

From: Kyle, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Planting, Seasonal Tasks, Wildflowers
Title: Wildseed Planting in a drought
Answered by: Brigid & Larry Larson

QUESTION:

Due to the extreme drought and no rain in the near future in central Texas would it be prudent to have a wildseed planting in October?

ANSWER:

Prudent??   Interesting choice of words.

  There are no issues with having a wildseed planting in October, in fact, that is just the right time to go ahead and distribute seed.  Seeds are a dormant form of the plant and it will not harm them at all to be distributed during a time of drought.

  On the other hand, your question implies that you sort of expect the planted seed to grow and produce a wildflower for you to enjoy next Spring.  That is not necessarily so.  The seeds need the right conditions, which include good rain, warming sun and maybe even a winter freeze to break them from their dormancy.  If all the condtions are right, a goodly number of the seeds germinate and we will have a lovely wildflower Spring.  If the conditions are not right, the majority of the seeds remain dormant and wait for the right conditions.  Then we see another weak wildflower season.

 To give you a little associated information, Here is a Mr Smarty Plants answer about the droughts effect on a wildflower meadow and also a "How-to" article on wildflower seeding.

 

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