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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 - January 21, 2003

From: Kingwood, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Planting, Seasonal Tasks
Title: Best preparation time for wildflower garden for summer
Answered by: Stephen Brueggerhoff

QUESTION:

Is it too late in late Fall to prepare a wildflower garden for next spring/summer?

ANSWER:

Germination is really dependent on the kind of plant; in general, those plants producing seed with hard seed coats have particular requirements in order to break dormancy (ie. Bluebonnets). This could be weathering to break down tissue that comprises the "skin" of the seed, allowing for moisture to be absorbed by the seed to aid in germination. Temperature, related to a term called stratification, in which the seeds undergo a chemical change due to storage at colder temperatures that provides signals to the seed embryo to develop at particular times of the year. Re-cap: it is not too late to start a wildflower garden for the Spring. Right now should be the time to make any preparations in the landscape you need to broadcast your seed

 

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