Gila's Place

A menagerie of eclectic things…

Make your next garden project a wildflower garden. These gardens have many benefits and are more important than ever due to the decline in pollenating insects.

Getting these types of gardens started can be expensive when you are buying seeds but it really doesn’t have to cost you an arm and leg because your don’t have to buy seeds. The best way to get seeds for your wildflower garden is to gather them yourself.

I’m not even kidding.

Next year’s garden means you have to start work in the fall by gathering seeds, cuttings, and tubers.

Get in the car and head out into the countryside and hit the first gravel road you see. Just take a slow drive and watch the ditches and meadows for color. The best wildflowers flourish on overgrown country roadsides. Gathering your own seeds/plants insures you get plant varieties that will grow well in your climate.

Gathering seeds is the easiest. Just remove the wilting or already dried flower head from the plant and place on a paper plate, out of direct light, in a dry area. (On top of my frig works great).

After several days you can easily shake the tiniest seeds from the heads onto the plate. Or, you can place them in a small paper bag to dry and just give it a good shake after a few days. Remove the petals and stems from the seeds before storing.

Store seeds in a cool, dry, place until you are ready to plant. I keep seeds in individual paper wrap inside of an airtight pouch or container. This is the same way I save vegetable seeds.

Other wildflowers can be dug up and transplanted, or by taking even a small portion of its root or tuber leaving the main plant in tact.

Don’t know which plants are what, what kind of care they need, or how to propagate?

There are a ton of great plant identifying aps out there that work and can tell you how to gather, grow, and even preserve some of your best finds.

Me, I take pictures when I am out on a cruise. When I get to the house I start looking on the extension centers for my state. I also use a couple of plant identifying apps; my favorite is https://identify.plantnet.org/ It’s a great place to start.

Here’s a few of my area favorites. Some will end up in my yard next spring. Some I have not identified yet.

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