Store the seed in a cool, dry place. Depending on what seeds you’re collecting, the growing and seed harvesting season begins in March and ends in fall. Birds are messy eaters, so much seed is scattered on the ground where birds like towhees, juncos and golden-crowned sparrows forage. Plants in the evening primrose family (Onagraceae) set seeds in capsules, which are usually four-chambered. Clarkia is so susceptible to damping off that sowing indoors is not practical. Home Ground Habitats We believe that Clarkia is correct. Collecting seeds over a number of days or weeks also increases the genetic variability. Late summer is the peak season. There’s some predation, since voles and sparrows like to eat greens, so the patches get thinned out a bit but still, hundreds of seedlings survive. Lightly cover seeds with 1/16" soil. It makes me think about all the different functions that seeds serve. Within a week after the first rain in October, dense patches of tiny seedlings are evident all over my garden. Then I immediately place them in soil in a trug, making sure the roots are covered. FAST FACTS. Thin to 15-23cm (6-9″) apart. Direct seed - As soon as the soil can be worked. When I collect seed from clarkias, annual plants in this same family, I cut the tops of stems with capsules attached. Starting Sow on the surface of the soil, as the seeds need light to germinate. Most often, I’m working with seeds that were collected last year, and at the same time I’m doing a lot of seed collecting. The cotyledon leaves are easy to identify with reddish tones to the stems and mid-ribs. While they’re foraging with the typical sparrow “double-scratch” method, the seed that is not eaten is scratched into the ground, ready to germinate as soon as the rainy season starts. Copyright 2020 Home Ground Habitats. Clarkia is so susceptible to damping off that sowing indoors is not practical. Avoid nitrogen-rich beds and planting beside nitrogen fixers (beans, peas, clover, lupins…). University/College Collect the ripe pods and spread them out away from direct sunlight to dry completely. Exposure: Full sun The seedlings stay under shade for several months, and as they get potted up to larger style tubes, and eventually to tree-pots, they also get more and more exposure to direct sunlight. Keep soil surface moist until emergence. These plants produce a prolific amount of seed, much of which is eaten by insects and birds. hookeri), a biennial plant in the same family, taking seed from the open, upright capsules. Collect seeds from plants before frost or it rains. Using a hori-hori knife, I can gently tease the seedlings out of my beds and gravel pathways with root systems intact. I actually start collecting some seed in late spring. Thin to 15-23cm (6-9″) apart. If absolutely necessary, sow indoors 6-8 weeks before last frost in peat pots topped with vermiculite under very bright light, with good ventilation at 12-21°C (55-70°), watering only from below. Split the pods open to remove the seed. Thin to 6-12" once seedlings have first true leaves. This encourages roots to grow long and fairly straight, and helps to prevent roots from circling and eventually strangling themselves. That same day we transplant the seedlings into 4” pots, let them recover for a few days in the shade after transplanting, and then grow them on in a sunny, protected location. Rake the soil to a fine tilth (a fine, crumbly top) and make some drills 5mm deep. The rows should be spaced about 15cm apart. In botanical terms, these are all different types of fruits, as is a berry, and fruit is the correct botanical term for any mature ovary containing seeds. Temporary Shipping Delays Due To Warehouse Expansion — Will NOT Affect Holiday Shipping. Timing Growing Information, Tips, New Products and Updates, right to your inbox. Season & Zone Farmer Novato, CA 94948 Non-Profit. PO Box 592 Direct sow outdoors after last frost – mid-March on the coast, and twice again at two week intervals for a nice, long bloom period. So, although we start a lot of annual wildflowers from seed under controlled conditions in the greenhouse, we also simply transplant a lot of seedlings that I dig out of my garden. Seeds may absorb moisture, swell and crack, which damages the ability to properly germinate. Two months later these seedlings are well developed, about 2 to 3 inches tall, with “true” leaves fully formed, and easy to transplant. Garden Centre/Nursery I collect only from plants with prolific seed set, and then take only small amounts of seed from a number of different plants of the same species. Clarkia may self-sow. If you see nine, take none. Photo: William Follette, My Home Ground: Gardening in Harmony with Nature, Our Story: Friends of Home Ground Habitats. The berries will be soaked in water and after a few days gently macerated, which makes it easier to separate the seed from the flesh of each berry. Flowering will be reduced in hot weather. Gently press seeds into soil, covering with 1/16" soil. Latin Name: Clarkia unguiculata. Photo: Pete Veilleux, Hooker’s evening primrose in bloom. Then I clean and package the seed in the evenings or on rainy days, when it’s not possible to work in the garden.
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