Rent Shop Volunteer Join

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.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

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

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
10 ratings

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.
 

More Wildflowers Questions

Shearing Pink Skullcaps
September 21, 2014 - My pink skullcap plants keep dying. The ones that are still alive are about 3 years old, but have large sections of dry twigs. Do I shear them and hope they come back or are they gone? I live in Helot...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers and grasses in Vermont
June 01, 2009 - Invasive in VT.? I am ready to try seed balls in my SW Vermont meadow. (All the tilling and clearing of grass - or as sometimes advised - using Round Up??? for a wildflower garden? seems like so muc...
view the full question and answer

Wildflowers for NY that bloom in the first season
May 17, 2010 - Hi, I'm looking for native annuals that germinate the same season they're planted. There are many northeast native annuals but most of them require a season of frost to germinate the following sprin...
view the full question and answer

Purchase of Galphimia angustifolia from Austin
June 08, 2014 - I have a Thryallis, Galphimia augustifolia, or Thryallis autustifolia, growing from a limestone ledge in my yard in west Austin TX. I have tried unsuccessfully to buy this native. Do you sell it at t...
view the full question and answer

Establishing a wildflower meadow in Madison GA
January 21, 2010 - Can a wildflower meadow be established by seeding in a sunny pasture without removing all existing vegetation, just mowing low and slightly loosening soil with the teeth on a front end loader?
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.