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Old 11-17-2014, 04:01 PM   #21
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I think my neighbors think my property with all of it's plants attract Japanese beetles when I think the Japanese beetle grubs probably come from their vast lawns.
I suspect that you are right.
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Old 11-17-2014, 09:22 PM   #22
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When I first started to plant natives about five years ago, I started with a couple of seed mixes from Prairie Moon because it was so much cheaper than plants. I turned over all the sod and such in the areas I wanted to plant....NOT a good idea. I agree with you, Dap, the soil disturbance just released a whole host of weed seeds that had been there for many years (our house was built 70+ years ago). I switched to smothering to avoid giving those weed seeds the opportunity to germinate. Plants may cost a bit more in the beginning, but in my relatively small space, they are much easier to get established than seeds. I think that once I get plants established and the weeds smothered, I should be able to supplement with seeds in those areas. I wouldn't be able to afford to start with plants if I had acres to do, though!


That is why I collect seeds and winter so them to plant once they are grown in a bit. We I purchase plants, I collect their seeds to plant...but I also collect natives that naturally occur on our property...and natives find growing along the sides of roads. I agree, I could never afford all to purchase even plugs for all of the plants it would take to fill up 2 acres!
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Old 11-18-2014, 07:19 AM   #23
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That is why I collect seeds and winter so them to plant once they are grown in a bit. We I purchase plants, I collect their seeds to plant...but I also collect natives that naturally occur on our property...and natives find growing along the sides of roads. I agree, I could never afford all to purchase even plugs for all of the plants it would take to fill up 2 acres!
I'm excited to try winter sowing this year. I didn't collect seed from my own natives this fall, I wanted to let them spread on their own since my plantings are fairly young. I did order a bunch of seeds from Prairie Moon.

I don't trust my ID skills enough yet to collect seeds from the roadsides . I'd probably bring home all sorts of "bad guys"!

I'm glad I at least got my sowing area set up. We have almost a foot of snow on the ground - unusual for this time of year. I hope we get a bit of a break over the next week or two so I can get the seeds in the prepared pots.
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Old 11-18-2014, 09:44 PM   #24
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I'm excited to try winter sowing this year. I didn't collect seed from my own natives this fall, I wanted to let them spread on their own since my plantings are fairly young. I did order a bunch of seeds from Prairie Moon.
I've tried to let the natives I've added spread on their own...after several years, I'm finally starting to see one or two things appear where I didn't plant them. I suspect it is a long process to let nature take its course...especially in a degraded habitat with mostly non-native lawn grasses and various invasive species.

Planting even a fraction of the seeds (I always leave a lot on the plants) results in many, many more seedlings than would survive in nature. By germinating them yourself in ideal conditions, you end up with more genetic diversity and plenty of plants to add to your garden/habitat. I'm assuming once I have so many planted and transform the property, they will spread themselves over the years, showing up in various places and creating naturally dense and sparse sections throughout the property--with other species better adapted to the conditions filling in the sparser areas.

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I don't trust my ID skills enough yet to collect seeds from the roadsides . I'd probably bring home all sorts of "bad guys"!
As you grow natives in your yard and see them daily throughout the various seasons, you will become more intimately familiar with what these species look like in all stages and seasons. This will allow you to recognize them out in nature.

Also, if you walk in the same area even weekly, you can see what is blooming and where...then go back for it as the seeds mature...or mark it somehow (I've read of that, but never tried flags or ribbons or anything).

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I'm glad I at least got my sowing area set up. We have almost a foot of snow on the ground - unusual for this time of year. I hope we get a bit of a break over the next week or two so I can get the seeds in the prepared pots.
I hope the weather does let up next week...if they are right, we are supposed to hit 60 on Monday!

I've planted mine out as late as February and still had successful germination.
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Old 11-18-2014, 10:16 PM   #25
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I've tried to let the natives I've added spread on their own...after several years, I'm finally starting to see one or two things appear where I didn't plant them. I suspect it is a long process to let nature take its course...especially in a degraded habitat with mostly non-native lawn grasses and various invasive species.

Planting even a fraction of the seeds (I always leave a lot on the plants) results in many, many more seedlings than would survive in nature. By germinating them yourself in ideal conditions, you end up with more genetic diversity and plenty of plants to add to your garden/habitat. I'm assuming once I have so many planted and transform the property, they will spread themselves over the years, showing up in various places and creating naturally dense and sparse sections throughout the property--with other species better adapted to the conditions filling in the sparser areas.



As you grow natives in your yard and see them daily throughout the various seasons, you will become more intimately familiar with what these species look like in all stages and seasons. This will allow you to recognize them out in nature.

Also, if you walk in the same area even weekly, you can see what is blooming and where...then go back for it as the seeds mature...or mark it somehow (I've read of that, but never tried flags or ribbons or anything).


I hope the weather does let up next week...if they are right, we are supposed to hit 60 on Monday!

I've planted mine out as late as February and still had successful germination.

Thanks for the encouraging words, Dap! I think I'll make a point of collecting some seeds next fall and trying to winter sow them. I am going to work on improving my ID skills. I also have to find areas where I can collect seeds. Many of the areas I visit regularly are parks or nature preserves where I can't collect.
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Old 11-19-2014, 06:38 PM   #26
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Thanks for the encouraging words, Dap! I think I'll make a point of collecting some seeds next fall and trying to winter sow them. I am going to work on improving my ID skills. I also have to find areas where I can collect seeds. Many of the areas I visit regularly are parks or nature preserves where I can't collect.
Sure, no problem. I think, once you start germinating your own seeds, you will enjoy it.

Your comments also make me think that we should start a thread to post photos of various natives, as seed, seedling, maturing growth, buds, blooms, and seedheads/seed pods--basically document their whole life cycle...it would be a wonderful resource for all.
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:33 PM   #27
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Sure, no problem. I think, once you start germinating your own seeds, you will enjoy it.

Your comments also make me think that we should start a thread to post photos of various natives, as seed, seedling, maturing growth, buds, blooms, and seedheads/seed pods--basically document their whole life cycle...it would be a wonderful resource for all.
THAT is a great idea...and it would be very helpful
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Old 11-19-2014, 07:53 PM   #28
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THAT is a great idea...and it would be very helpful
I agree. I plan to plant my seeds in February. I'll post my process.
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