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Spring Reminders From The Seed Man

by The Seed Man

California Poppies in Full Bloom
California Poppies in Full Bloom, Submitted for the Photo Contest by Julie

Happy Spring, everyone!  Hopefully you’ve already gotten your hands dirty in the garden and are enjoying some beautiful spring color and scents. We had about 3 inches of snow yesterday but it’s gone now and the Tulips and Daffodils are progressing nicely (less a little nibble from the deer).

With the mild winter that most of the country experienced, we’re all excited to get a head start on our spring plantings. I always find this a good time to share and shed some light on the customer questions that I’m answering at this time of year regarding wildflowers and planting seeds. 

Bulbs starting to sprout!
April 2016: Spring-Blooming bulbs popping up in Essex Junction, Vermont.

If the air temperature is warming up, does that mean the ground temperature is, too?

Who doesn’t love those first few warm spring days, birds chirping, when we can leave the house in a light or sometimes no jacket. On those days, I can always count on the phones lighting up with calls and orders from customers ready to plant. 

But with this warm weather comes the reminder not to be fooled by those mild air temperatures when it comes to planting your wildflower seeds. Although the air temperatures might be 50, 60 or even in the 70’s, ground temperatures take a much longer time to warm up.  Even with the milder winter it may still take months for the ground to warm up to optimal germinating temperatures (above 55 degrees).

Now if you did already plant, and the ground temperature were still on the cool side, you should still be fine. You may have a few squirrels and birds come in for a little snack while you wait for the seeds to begin germinating, but don’t panic as there’s plenty of seed to go around. Be patient as you may find that 14-20 days go by and you’re not seeing much – or some very small – greens. With the cooler ground temps, this could delay germination. But with the gradual warming of the soil you should be on your way in a few short weeks. Be patient and if 30 days have gone by and you’re still looking at bare soil, give us a call and we can discuss!

Tulip Bulbs
Fall 2015: Tulip planting in Essex Junction, Vermont.
The Seedman preparing the Soil for Wildflowers
Proper soil preparation is key to a successful wildflower planting!

How important is soil preparation before spring seeding?

When it comes to planting your wildflowers, I can’t stress enough the importance of properly preparing the soil. As much as you can rid the area of grass, weeds or whatever might be growing in the area to expose bare soil before planting, the better your flowers will grow and thrive both in the short term but for many years to come. There are a number of ways to prepare the area which you can read about here, but no matter what method you use I urge you to spend a little extra time and I can guarantee you will be rewarded.

All of our products come with full instructions and we have an abundance of planting information and videos on our site that I urge all our customers to read and take advantage of. Please read them, use our site, or call our staff of master gardeners to help answer any questions you might have. We’re here to help! 

Girl in Field of Cosmos
Happy Spring

Adopt the pace of Nature ...

As Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.” Be patient during these weeks as we are sure to experience some strange weather. You may have to change your plans and planting dates but stick with it, be positive and have fun. Summer will be here before you know it and you will be enjoying your garden in no time!

Happy Spring,
The Seed Man