Can anyone tell me how I can make use of all the grape hyacinth seeds I have each year? So far I have just spread them about the ground where the plant is currently growing and I haven't seen much result. I received the plants originally from a friend and would like to have them in many places.
You won't actually see them germinate because it's a 2 step process (or maybe a very long one step process LOL!) Since you haven't seen anything, I want to make sure you haven't mulched the area and also you haven't used a pre emergent herbicide like Preen.
I assume they have gone to seed, you've shaken out the pods and the seeds are lying on the ground at this point, right? Just cover them with some soil and don't let the area get bone dry for weeks on end. They'll throw a root over summer, and then a single leaf in Aug - maybe early Sept. You don't want this little leaf to be covered in fall leaves all fall or winter -- they need sunshine.
Along about August, the Grape Hyacinth foliage will start to emerge...both from the bulbs and the seeds -- one little leaf that looks like a blade of grass from each seed. The best way to get more is to do this every year and let them all stay together, and then sort of thin them from the edges to place elsewhere. That way you don't forget what those teeny tiny blades of grass are and accidentally weed them.
One little trick you might consider is to direct where the pod drops its seed with the use of an old fashioned hairpin you buy at the drugstore. After the flower blooms, the stem elongates and turns sort of light brown. At this point, you can peg it down where you want the seed to srop with the hairpin - one per stem is plenty. This will fill in any bare spots you have between bulbs, but could also be used to get the patch moving out wider and wider every year, in the direction you want it to go.
You can germinate these pretty easily on moist paper towels or coffee filters in a baggie in the refrigerator. Just check them weekly, and plant any that sprout. Figure about three months at refrigerator temperatures. You will get lots of seedlings this way. Remember that they sprout at cold temperatures, so this isn't like regular prechill, where you give a seed a set period of cold, then bring them out to sprout at warm temps. Leave them in until they actually start to sprout, and remove and plant out only the ones that have started to sprout. Leave the rest (unsprouted ones) in the 'fridge until they start roots.