This weekend 12 of us got together to plant about 500 pots’ worth of native perennial seeds.
We bought seeds of about 50 species from Prairie Moon, and funded our seed purchase via a modified CSA model: members could cover the cost of a pack of seeds ($2.50) of a plant they’d like for their garden. When the plants grow, they’ll get some seedlings, but the rest will be planted into new pollinator gardens. While in the past we’ve relied on native plants already growing in the neighborhood to start new gardens, buying these seeds will allow us to add some uncommon species, increasing the biodiversity of the neighborhood. Some of the cool new species we are trying out include prairie sundrops, wild licorice, goats rue, New Jersey tea, fringed loosestrife, yellow pimpernel, blue grama, and mad-dog skullcap.
We used a mixture of potting soil and soil we removed from a boulevard during an installation last summer. Most native plants need to stratify in the cold for a period of time in order to germinate. We put the pots out in a backyard garden so that they can naturally stratify and hopefully reward us with hundreds of cool new plants in the spring.