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Old 08-11-2013, 05:04 PM   #1
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Default Milkweed Question - how to collect seed and sow

A local city garden is a certified Monarch Way Station, but it only had one milkweed and that one got mowed down. and they even had the certification number wrong!

Roger and I could collect milkweed seed pods from elsewhere and sow them in that wildflower garden which is listed as collosal, but when should the pods be collected and how should we go about sowing?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 08-11-2013, 06:03 PM   #2
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As soon as you see the pod opening, it's fine to collect them then. Hopefully they'll still be neat enough to pull out without the fluff getting everywhere.

People will tell you to just light them on fire to remove the fluff.... Don't do this. You'll actually get better germination if you take the time to hand remove it yourself. (Milkweed does seem to grow better in fields that experience burns but I think that has more to do with removing the built up plant matter. In a garden setting you're not going to light fire to the place so. See Here)

Seeds should be placed in plastic bags with a small hand full of sphagnum moss, or a damp towel (squeezed enough to not drip water!) The plastic bags should be the cheap kind that doesn't boast zipper locks, or keeping food fresh; you want a minor amount of ventilation.

This goes into the fridge for the winter. I think only 2 to 4 months is required. The seeds will start to grow a little bit, poking out a tiny tooth-like fang that becomes the stem. When you see that you can either plant them in pots or right outside in soil that is cleared/weed free/ where seedlings won't have too much competition.

If you grow them in pots, it's best to have them outside. A green house is really ideal for this. Indoors there isn't enough air circulation and a lot of the stems will rot at the surface.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #3
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Can the plastic bags be stacked?

Since I'm in Buffalo, could the seeds in bags be put out on the balcony for the winter?

The garden or meadow is totally covered in flowers so I was hoping just spreading the seed would work, but it sounds more likely that it wouldn't. I definitely cannot be on my knees clearing out spaces, so maybe the idea isn't really workable. maybe I should leave it to those who made the garden.

Thank you for the explanation.
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Old 08-11-2013, 07:58 PM   #4
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Yeah just spread it when they open! Thats usually the best time to plant most seeds is when they would normally hit the ground.
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Old 08-11-2013, 08:01 PM   #5
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That I could try and just hope for the best...
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