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Friday - November 06, 2015

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Meadow Gardens, Propagation, Herbs/Forbs
Title: Improving Bluebonnet seed contact with soil
Answered by: Guy Thompson

QUESTION:

I have a five acre field in Blanco County, much of which is covered by bluebonnets. There are several species of native grasses as well. Would it be beneficial to disk or otherwise disturb the soil every few years? Or would annual mowing provide enough soil disturbance to encourage the bluebonnets to reseed?

ANSWER:

We have a good website describing methods for large scale wildflower seed planting.  This would be useful to you, since the most important requirement for good germination is getting the seeds into direct contact with the mineral soil.  Mowing and raking off existing vegetation prior to planting may be necessary to improve seed/soil contact.

However, I would not recommend following these procedures this year.  With all the rain we have had, Lupinus texensis (Texas bluebonnet) seeds are already germinating in Central Texas.  I suggest that you walk through your field looking for sprouting Bluebonnet seeds.  I attach two photos of Bluebonnet seedlings. In my yard many of them still have only the two seed leaves (the round leaves shown in the first photo).  If you see no signs of Bluebonnet seedlings, it should be save to proceed with the soil-loosening steps described in the website.

 

From the Image Gallery


Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

Texas bluebonnet
Lupinus texensis

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