All Prairie Nursery seed is “dry stratified” prior to shipping to help break seed dormancy. Some wildflower seeds germinate best when seeded in fall in a dormant seeding. The exposure to cold, damp conditions signals to the seed that winter has occurred, and that it will be safe to germinate when the soil warms up in spring. Some wildflowers benefit greatly from a process called “moist stratification,” which mimics the effects of winter on the seed. These procedures are outlined below.
Most prairie grasses generally do not benefit from moist stratification. Certain species have specific times of the season when they germinate best. Most wildflowers will exhibit higher germination when seeded in the fall. Cool season grasses and flowers, such as Junegrass, Prairie Dropseed, and Asters do best when planted in early spring when temperatures are cooler. Sedges also do better when planted in fall or early spring.
If your goal is to establish both flowers and grasses together, it is best to plant in fall or early spring, provided that the site has been properly prepared and is free of weed problems. Watering can greatly increase germination and overall success in late spring and early summer seedings. For information on when to seed, Click here.
DRY STRATIFICATIONSeed is exposed to cold temperatures for one month or longer. All Prairie Nursery seed is dry stratified, unless purchased prior to mid-January.
Members of the legume or bean family can benefit from an inoculation with Rhizobium bacterium prior to planting. Your legume seeds have been pre-inoculated with this bacterium. The bacterium works with the plant to form nodules, which are capable of taking nitrogen from the atmosphere and incorporating it into the plant.