Bluebonnet seed advice

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ravyrn
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Bluebonnet seed advice

#1 Postby ravyrn » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:16 am

Just purchased 2000 bluebonnet seeds. Gonna put them around my mom's yard while I house sit for her and my stepdad this weekend. Can anyone offer advice on how to make the seeds take well? She's always wanted bluebonnets in her yard, so I'm gonna see what I can make happen.
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wxman57
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Re: Bluebonnet seed advice

#2 Postby wxman57 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 6:49 am

See here:
http://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/maintenance/wildflower-program/planting-bluebonnets.html

There is a patch of bluebonnets along the bike trail here in Houston. Just this past weekend, I passed that area of bluebonnets and several were STILL flowering! Last spring, I saved a few of the seed pods and extracted the seeds to plant in my front flower bed. I guess it's time to plant/sow them...
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somethingfunny
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#3 Postby somethingfunny » Tue Nov 04, 2014 2:37 pm

Sounds easy enough except for determining if my soil is alkaline and/or contains that specific bacterium...
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wxman57
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Re: Bluebonnet seed advice

#4 Postby wxman57 » Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:22 pm

I believe that the soil will tend to be acidic in areas with lots of pine trees (east TX pineywoods). Here's a website that classifies Texas soils. In Dallas, the soil is typically "Blackland Prairie", which is somewhat alkaline. The Jacksonville area is somewhere between Blackland Prairie (alkaline) and Claypan (acidic). Looks like Jacksonville is a bit more acidic than the Dallas area.

http://www.texasalmanac.com/topics/envi ... oils-texas
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ravyrn
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Re: Bluebonnet seed advice

#5 Postby ravyrn » Sun Nov 09, 2014 9:26 pm

Thanks for the responses, guys. I went ahead and planted 1000 this evening. I think I probably should have planted them about a month ago, but oh well. I've got another packet of 1000 seeds that I think I'll scarify by placing them in the freezer over night, then pouring boiling water over them and letting them soak for a few hours. Then I'll toss them w/ a packet of rhizobium bacteria and plant them around the yard. I probably planted about 500 of today's about 1/8" under ground and then just scattered the rest. Will probably do the same when I plant this next batch.

I imagine the worst case scenario is not all the seeds germinate this year and we wind up with some germinating a year or two from now (and likely with some late blooming plants). If I get a 10% germination rate from these, I'll be pleased. My mom's been trying to get them to take in her yard, but only had roughly 5 or 7 plants this past Spring (not sure how many seeds she used). I'm hoping for a decent surprise for her either this Spring or next. There's one field about a mile from here that was painted blue with bluebonnets so I'm hoping to have a decent flowering of them this Spring.

EDIT: I've been reading conflicting advice in regards to scarifying the seeds. So I planted 1 packet of 1000 without, and will scarify the other packet of 1000 according to video instruction by the horticulture director @ the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: link.
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