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Beginner Gardening Questions: wildflower seed mix and frost

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prettyhortgirl
Somerville, MA
(Zone 5a)

March 13, 2007
7:15 PM

Post #3277509

I am in MA [grater boston area] and have a wildflower seed mix to plant this spring. as you know with the super nice weather it has me anxious to start! does anyone know the probability of having to wait until the norm planting time [memorial day] or is it forcasted to stop frosting earlier? we all know how mild this winter has been!!!

anywho, I assume I should also wait till the last frost to lay this mix? even if under a thin layer of mulch?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 13, 2007
7:20 PM

Post #3277527

Unfortunately I've never seen a weather forecaster who could even accurately predict what the weather was going to be like a week from now, let alone what it's going to do over the next couple months! So if you want to be safe, you should wait a bit before planting, or if you want to start earlier you could start the seeds indoors then transplant them after all chance of frost is gone.
prettyhortgirl
Somerville, MA
(Zone 5a)

March 13, 2007
7:21 PM

Post #3277534

this would be hard to do, considering the vermiculite powder it is in for even casting. doesnt the farmers almanac predict frost?
ecrane3
Dublin, CA
(Zone 9a)

March 13, 2007
7:30 PM

Post #3277574

Sorry, don't know anything about the farmer's almanac or how trustworthy it is, I'm a city girl! I'm sure it has ways of predicting frost, but it seems like lately weather has gotten less predictable, so I think you're still taking a chance regardless of what it says. I guess it all depends on how upset you would be if you did get a frost after the seedlings had sprouted and had to start over again, if that's not a big deal then go for it, but if that would be upsetting for you then you're better off waiting a little while--maybe not all the way until Memorial Day but at least until late April or so.
momo125
Windsor, ON
(Zone 6a)

March 14, 2007
12:08 AM

Post #3278417

I wouldn't trust the weather forcasters for accuracy if I were you. When are they ever 100% right on? I worked in a garden centre one year and we were covering all the annuals on the May 24 weekend. (Victoria day in Canada) So... Just to be safe, wait. It will probably be snowing next week. Today, in Windsor, (right across from Detroit) it was 70 deg. I just went for a walk. Boy, am I outta shape. By Saturday they are saying 38. 30deg. difference in 4 days.

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 14, 2007
6:10 PM

Post #3281062

It depends on exactly what kinds of seeds are in this mix...some wildflowers need a cold period to break dormancy. Generally, most stuff that self seeds in the wild will lay dormant till the time is right anyway. And a frost..(not freezes) will not hurt the new wildflower seedlings. Lots of folks seed them in the fall and they're already there for when spring comes.

What does the package say about when to sow? That should give you a clue. I generally direct seed wildflower types about now here in zone 6b/7a, but we've only got a couple weeks before a hard freeze can happen...april 15 for frost.

They're pretty tough...or they wouldn't be called 'wild'flowers.

prettyhortgirl
Somerville, MA
(Zone 5a)

March 14, 2007
7:42 PM

Post #3281299

it says to wait until after frost, but i was hoping for otherwise, if mulched or something

adonis, calendula, centaurea, cheiranthus, chrysthamum shasta, coreopsis, cosmos, delphinium, dianthus, digitalis, echinacea, eschscholzia, gypsophila, linum, lupinus, papaver and rudbeckia. sorry they hard wire us in school now for latin preferred.

Gitagal

Gitagal
Baltimore, MD
(Zone 7a)

March 14, 2007
9:29 PM

Post #3281633

Pretty,

I don't want to burst your bubble, but these "mixes" they sell in a box seldom all come up at once (if at all)--as they have to be seeded at the right time of year and people are disappointed when there is nothing for a couple of years. .

I do not know all the plants you listed, but most of them are biennial. These would drop the seed after blooming which would come up the following year and bloom then. Dianthus, Rudbeckia and Digitalis are a couple examples. I would wait until early Fall to plant most of these seeds. I think you will have a better chance to see some success. Cosmos will grow and bloom the same year they are planted and also self-seed. If any of them are true perennials, you cannot even seed them in the spring. August is a good time.

So as you can see, you would have a long wait. It is possible that you may only see a couple of these come up and live--if at all. I am sorry to sound so "down", but those are some of the facts, Maam!

If I were you, I would not expect much of anything from these "Mixes" that are sold.

If anyone has more supportive advice , go for it!

Gita

melody

melody
Benton, KY
(Zone 7a)


March 15, 2007
2:46 AM

Post #3282760

gita is right...not all will bloom this season...several are biennial and others, (echinaca for one) needs cold stratification for best germination. Looks like they have mixed in some annual stuff that will give you color this year while you are waiting on the other stuff. I'd plant sometime in the first 2 weeks of April and hope for the best...Don't mulch...some of these seeds need light to germinate...that's what's so tricky about these mixes...they have such a wide range of requirements that something isn't going to come up. Looks good in the package and on the shelf...but in real life, the advertising is better than the final product.

Don't despair though...it will be pretty...you'll get flowers, and butterflies will love them. Just don't count on seeing everything that's labeled on the package.
prettyhortgirl
Somerville, MA
(Zone 5a)

March 15, 2007
4:37 AM

Post #3283123

well, sounds like luckily i have the perfect spot, its more of a space filler than for the flowers - and i couldnt beat the price :)

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