Planting Seeds in the Fall

While most annual seeds are planted in the spring, many native seeds need to be planted outside in the late fall. They need what is called cold-stratification to break the seeds out of their dormancy. While this can be done artificially, it’s easiest for the home gardener to just do it in an outside garden.

Here’s a technique that I use with good results. I would normally suggest planting the seeds around Thanksgiving. If it is still warm, wait until things cool down.

starting-seeds-outside-01

  • Scrape off the top half inch of soil and mulch. You want to get down to the soil level. Set that material off to the side – we won’t use it. If you have weeds in the area, dig them out and put them in your compost.
  • You then want to define your seed area so it will be easy to identify in the spring. You can use anything you want – hula hoop, wood, bricks, etc.
  • I used a product called Terrace Board which is usually used as a lawn/garden edging. I cut it into twenty foot lengths and then drilled a hole into both ends and used a bolt to connect the overlapping ends. You will probably also need to buy plastic pegs to keep the board in place.
  • Another option if you have lots of weeds and/or grass is to lay a couple layers of newspaper to smother the old growth and fill the area with good potting soil.
  • I usually also add a half inch layer of compost or potting soil over the soil. We have clay soil in my location and it is not the ideal germinating medium.
  • Put in your seeds, cover with another 1/4 inch of potting soil/compost and then water.
  • Label the area so you know what seeds you planted.
  • The plants you see are Asclepias incarnata – Swamp Milkweed.
  • The advantage of this method is that you know that the plants coming up are the ones which are on the label.
Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Seeds

2 responses to “Planting Seeds in the Fall

  1. Studer-Logsdon, Mary A.

    GREAT IDEA !! I am having this problem

  2. Anonymous

    wow! great idea and major time savor!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s