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The Four P's of Planting Native Seeds Part 2

June 9, 2017

By: Barb Holtz

Following directions may not be your forte. I hear you. Sometimes we need to heed a live-out-loud, throw-caution-to-the-wind attitude. So, you go girl (or boy) and wing it when constructing that IKEA furniture or getting your Iron Chef on. However, if you're planting a garden with native seed, let's color in the lines for a moment. There are four P's worth your attention in order to achieve your native paradise. Today, we bring you part two: PATIENCE.

You've just invested time in the most important step in native seed growing - site PREP- and you have seeds in hand. You ask yourself, "When should I sow? Is it the right season?" Spring has gardeners chomping at the bit after a long Ohio winter. While tender plants may succumb to a late winter dusting, early spring is a good time for seed. An even better time? Late fall through winter.

Many native seed species require stratification, or extended cold, moist treatment in order to germinate. Since Mother Nature knows best, why not let her do the work! It's better to wait than to sow seeds late June through late October. That said, if you choose seeds that do not require a cold snap, your planting window widens.

Site prepped and seeds sown, PATIENCE is truly a virtue at this point. Creating a native landscape takes time, plain and simple. Why? Because a solid foundation = verdant success. Roots first - good roots - before strutting above ground growth. Year one nurtures roots and beginning green. Year two brings some flowering but mostly more green. Year three is bursting with bloom!

If the idea of patience leaves you gardening cold, then let us suggest a seed mix that feeds your "want it now" soul while leaving open the surprise of something new in your yard growing season to growing season. Most of our native seed mixes do contain an annual component to provide some color the first growing season.

You've prepped, planted and patiently waited. Everything's coming up "roses"...I mean "coneflower" sit back right? Well, yes and no. Want to know more? Come back next week to catch the third "P".


A plant typically seem in first year plantings. What is it?
Almost there!
Your patience is rewarded! Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata) in full bloom. This annual can germinate and flower the first growing season.

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