Sunday, January 25, 2009

First Step Toward Spring

Today I "Cold-Stratified" some of my seeds.
This is a strategy required to get some native wild flower seeds to germinate. I am carefully following the instructions from Prairie Mooon Nursery, where I ordered the seeds. The seeds are mixed into damp vermiculite or sand and put into a a sealed bag in the refrigerator for 60 days before planting in soil. I guess this mimics nature's process of keeping them in cold Minnesota dampness for two months before they sprout in the spring. Today I cold-stratified Virginia bluebells, bittersweet, prairie coreopsis, bloodroot, butterflyweed(asclepias), and prairie blazing star (liatris).

It turns out the bloodroot seed is a bit more complicated: after cold-stratifying for 60-90 days it must go through a warm period (70-89 degrees for 60 days) and then through another cold stratification for 60 days. I am not sure I have the patience for growing this flower from seed--I wish it luck!

It's still a while before I will be digging in the dirt, but it feels good to be doing some preparation for spring on a zero-degree January day.

1 comment:

greenwalks said...

Hey, spring's gotta start sometime! Even if it's indoors... wow, that bloodroot sounds labor-intensive. I think I'm too lazy for even the easiest cold-stratified seeds at this point in life! Good luck, may they all sprout and beautify your garden all summer long.