Category Archives: Seeds

Free Milkweed Seeds

monarch-800I have some milkweed seeds that I’d be glad to share. The seeds are Tropical Milkweed, Asclepias curassavica. Plant the seed so it is slightly covered and keep warm and moist to start. If you start these inside, you can get a a head start on spring. Plant when all danger of frost is gone – usually around May 1st in St. Louis Missouri.

Another option is to plant these in the soil and let them come up naturally.
Send a SASE – Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope to:

Free Milkweed Seeds
9016 Robyn Rd
St. Louis, MO 63126

The best way to start these seeds is with bottom heat. 

80-degrees-covered

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

80 degrees and seeds slightly covered seems to be the best. I did put the plastic top on this to keep in the heat and moisture.

 

 

 

Here’s the procedure I use.

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113,000 Seeds – $17.59

monarchs-milkweed
asclepias-113000I just found a deal on milkweed seeds that I thought I’d share. I just bought 113,000 asclepias curassavica seeds for just $17.59.

I got them from MyDirtyGardener.com. The link will take you to this offer.

asclepias-oregon-800Note – the main Monarch migration is going through St. Louis right now, so get outside and enjoy this phenomenon.

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Starting Seeds Outside

If you’re having trouble getting seeds to start over winter and then can’t recognize the plants from the weeds, here’s a technique that I tried out this last winter with good results.

starting-seeds-outside-01

  • I used a product called Terrace Board which is usually used as a lawn/garden edging.
  • I cut it into twenty foot lengths.
  • I 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.
  • I cleaned out the area where I was going to place the soil so I didn’t have weeds or grass popping up. You could lay a couple layers of newspaper to accomplish the same thing.
  • I filled the oval with good potting soil.
  • Put in your seeds, cover and 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.

Note – instead of the plastic edging, you could use any material like wood, boards or bricks.

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Seeds for 25 Cents

seeds-twentyfive-cents-web

Gateway Greening has seed packets of flowers and vegetables for sale for only 25 cents per package. The main reason they are so cheap is that they are last years seeds. Some may even be older, so they probably won’t germinate as well as fresh seeds.

I’ve been told they are only for sale on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to noon, but since no one is there to take your money, you may be able to get seeds most of the day. You put your money in a box in the seeds area. It’s run on the honor system.

They keep the seeds in the “Carriage House” which is just up the street from the Gardens and they are on the second floor.

http://www.gatewaygreening.org/grow/gardens/bell-demonstration-and-community-garden/

As of today, March 5th, they still have a good selection.

Note – this is only a St. Louis thing, you may be able to find another group like this in your city.

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Cold Stratification in the Refrigerator

I tried the three month cold stratification in the refrigerator for a number of seeds. I use 2/3 peat moss and 1/3 fine sand and then made sure it was moist. After 3 months I took it out of the refrigerator and then made the mistake of leaving it on one of my tables for a couple of weeks. As you can see below, the seeds were ready to sprout. My “Lesson Learned” is that as soon as you pull your seeds out of the refrigerator, put them in a pot so they can sprout.

asclepias-currassavica-3months-in-frig

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Echinacea Seed Removal

Here’s my technique for removing the seeds from an Echinacea purpurea, Purple Coneflower. Note – now is the time to start planting these seeds. They do need cold-stratification. I’m using the method recommended by Shaw Nature Reserve.

Caveat : I ended up with a blister on one finger with this method. I’d recommend wearing a bandaid on your index finger or a glove on your hand. I’m going to buy pliers with a Spring-Loaded Hinge, to get around this problem. You can also work the pliers without the spring, you just need to let the handle fall open.

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Saving Seed and Cold-Moist Refrigeration

bags-of-seeds

If you haven’t already, now is the time to start saving seeds and then start their period of cold-stratification. Shaw Nature Reserve has a nice PDF on this process and how each species is slightly different.

I’ve already done a detailed report on the process that you can find here.

I’m going to test their three month refrigeration process against leaving seed outside in pots and see how Mother Nature compares.

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