Saturday, September 8, 2007

Time to plant bluebonnet seeds

Time to plant bluebonnet seeds
By Dotty Woodson

Special to the Star-Telegram

If you would like to create a small bluebonnet display in your landscape, plant bluebonnet seeds now.

Here's how to get started: Select a location in full sun with good drainage. Clear the area of any vegetation. Break up the soil to a depth of 1 to 2 inches. Turn about 1 inch of compost into the soil.

Plant the bluebonnet seeds by broadcasting over the area or plant into the soil no deeper than 1/2 inch. If you broadcast the seeds, press them into the soil by lightly patting down. Cover broadcast seeds with a thin layer of compost. Keep soil moist until germination occurs, then cut back on watering.

This fall bluebonnet plant will grow into a short rosette and stay small until spring. After a winter chilling, the plant will grow larger and flower.

After the flowers fade, allow the seeds to grow. This takes several weeks. Once you see the seed pods opening, collect the seeds or allow them to drop to the ground. Pull the plants up and compost them. Plant other flowers for summer blooms.

Bluebonnet seeds have a very hard coat, so the germination rate in nature is very low. Plant acid-scarified seeds for several years to create a spectacular display every spring. Soak collected seeds in vinegar overnight to increase the germination rate. The seeds left in the soil will eventually germinate as weather softens the seed coat. | 09/08/2007 | Time to plant bluebonnet seeds

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