Our lawns – indigenous species – dairy forests, asters, Joe Paye weeds and others – have not yet provided enough to provide an additional offering during the harvest season. They offer their offspring.
Gardeners can grow the next generation by collecting some of them, and distributing their favorite wildflowers. But there is a slight twist.
A.D. “Everything about sowing local seeds contradicts what he learned in horticulture,” said Heather McCargo, who founded a nonprofit wildlife project in Maine in 2014.
Planting wildflowers, planting vegetables and annual flowers requires a change of mindset in the winter-to-spring season.
This is because wildflowers are sown at different times from November to early January. They are sown outside the house, not under the light. And in six packs, such as lettuce or cabbage, do not sow a single seed or two per cell. Instead, they are sown thick, into pots or open flats.
“Indigenous people are like teenagers,” said Makargo. They like to be together. ”
Many of us want to learn the simple skills needed to propagate indigenous plants – and use them to replicate the landscape with indigenous peoples. This is the mission of the Wildlife Project, which the organization urgently sees in a rapidly changing climate.
“Sowing is like becoming a midwife,” said Macargo, who has served for more than 35 years because of the country’s declining population. Her experience spans five years as a major propagandist in a forest garden in Massachusetts, the birthplace of plant trust.
“Everyone wants to throw seeds into the landscape, but wildlife lives are in danger,” she said. Most of the land is very wet or dry or where birds or rats eat. Most seeds are not scattered and thus not fully grown.
But if they collect the seeds in time and sow them in a safe way, she said, “you can get one plant from each seed.” A small bouquet can give 50 or more plants to your garden, or to the community at school or in the park.
Start with a simple farm eternity
Through its programs and publications, and on its website, the Wild Seed Project encourages gardeners to spread their diversity from roots to oak trees in the spring. But perhaps the easiest to start, Ms. McCargo said, in the summer-to-autumn fields, the seeds are wild flowers that grow in the fall.
The most popular are Penstemon, beeswax, monster, and dairy products (butterfly weed, scorpion tuberosa, and swamp milk, e incarnata). Blue Flag Iris versicolor, Cardinal Flower and Blue Lobelia (Lobelia Cardinals and El Sifilitika), Blue Varvine (Verbena Hetata), Golden Rhodes (Solidago), Iron Weed (Vernonia), Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Litatris and Joe Peer Weed Ethereum (purpureum) is also on its simple list.
First, there is a warning about collecting seeds — collecting seeds in public lands or in the wild is immoral and often illegal — and often appears to be off the road.
Collect seeds in your own garden if you have wild plants or are close to nature, as selective hybrids and certain species may not produce consistent results. Some become breeding grounds, which are good for storing and distributing pollen. If a neighbor has a field, ask permission to collect seeds. And no matter where the seeds are collected, do not harvest more than 5 percent of any plant population at any one time, Ms. Makargo.
It will sell suitable seeds for spring sowing in mid-September for the short-term wild seed project to begin. Other ethical, wild-type breeders include Presby Moon Kindergarten and Prery Nursery.
Is the seed still ready?
Seeds of different species germinate from September to November, and knowing when to harvest requires close monitoring from the time of flowering. Not every plant on a plant – or even every flower – ripens at the same time.
But each species has its own “speak,” and its first experience is to get acquainted with the first seed collector.
“If the plant is like milk straw, they want to change from green to black and paper,” she said. If the mushrooms are not evenly distributed, squeeze one. If so, the seeds are ready.
Others have small, pod-like seed pellets that get piston, brown, and wood. To measure their maturity, Ms. McCargo shows that a small hole in the top of each pill is a small hole in it.
Another clue is if most seeds are not white or green, but brown, brown or black.
Often, the sensory input is more helpful than the visual. Many field seeds have a soft breeze to carry ripe seeds in the wind, including Makargo, Esther, Iron, Joe Pin weed, and Golden. If you brush your hands on the soft seed, the ripe seeds will generally come out. If the plants do not release the seeds, leave them to ripen a little.
Fold your hands until you put a paper bag or envelope under any flower you are trying to catch. (An envelope is best for small, dusty seeds, such as monarda or lobelia.) And be sure to label each set immediately.
Before sowing seeds, dry them in a bag in a cool place for a month or more. This time of ripening is crucial before the seed is sown from late November to early January. The wild seed project will have a big annual sowing around New Year’s Day.
Set up a small nursery
You do not need much gear to create a small nursery in your backyard. Choose a suitable place to grow sown apartments or pots. Identify shaded areas, because when spring reinforcement light and high temperatures arrive, the containers dry out quickly – and the dried seeds die.
The handles can be easily placed under a garden seat, but an unused cold frame with a removable or open glass or plastic lid also works. Or you could build a simple wooden frame, as you would a high garden bed.
The pots are not gathered or placed in a frame, they should be covered with a half-or-quarter-inch grid to protect them from rats.
Assemble your other supplies, including drains, or nurseries that are four to six inches in diameter and at least three inches deep. Remove pea or fiber pots. Also needed – plastic tags and pencils.
Clean, dense sand (available at hardware stores) is recommended for pottery, fertilizer-based clay soils, and for sowing seeds. To irrigate the seeds with lukewarm water, use a watering can with a nosebleed.
Wet the middle of the oven slightly, then fill each container, and seal the mixture until the floor is flat and about half an inch from the edge. Mark each label with the date of sowing and sowing and place it firmly in the edge of the container before sowing.
The seeds are spread on thick but evenly distributed soil, about eight to a quarter inch. Then cover the sand with a spatula about the same thickness.
“Compared to an eighth inch of sesame, peas cover half an inch of sand,” she said.
Water well, but gently, and move the pots out of the nursery outside, covering them with a wire mesh.
And they stay there, rain or snow, all winter, their protective coat gradually cools and cools.
At home, all the while, they practice patience and have faith.
“The descendants know what to do and when to do it,” said Makargo.
Each spring they will sprout in their own time. Even if an abundance of seedlings can be transferred to a large pot, resist dividing them very quickly. Divide and plant single seedlings in their permanent homes in September. (More details here.)
Until recently, Ms. McCargo was running a wild seed project on a daily basis, but now four staff members, including the full-time director, can focus on her main needs: expanding kindergarten, and motivating individuals and nursery sites. Indigenous sowing – including oak, maple and other native trees.
She said no one should graduate from sixth grade without knowing how to grow a tree. Our native plants are losing their place in the world, and this is a step that each of us can take.
Margaret is the creator of the website and podcast Garden Road, And a book of the same name.
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