The seed catalogue includes all seeds that have been available in the past. We recommend that you review it prior to attending the seed exchange event. You can use the Lady Bird Wildflower Center Find Plants database under the combination search.
We encourage you to plant at least 3-5 plants of each species in cluster, as well as a diversity of species (colours, flowers, shapes etc.) that bloom from spring to fall.
If you intend to keep your seeds in storage for more than a few months, we recommend that you take them out of their packages, and let them air dry for three months before storing them in your freezer in an airtight container.
Full sun: More than 6 hours of direct sun a day
Part shade: More than 2 or 3 hours but less than 6 hours of direct sun a day
Full shade: Less than 2 or 3 hours of direct sun a day
Dry: Water runs through after rainfall
Medium: Sometimes holds water but for short periods of time
Moist: Holds water for some time, mostly in spring, then dries
Wet: Stays damp all year.
Sand: Made of larger particles, drains water faster
Clay: Made of smaller particles, retains water and hardens when wet
Loam: Mix of sand and clay
Here is a helpful video from the SWCCNRM to help identify your soil.
Here is a list of additional information for other types of particular conditions:
Two options are available, and the second can be done even after the ground has frozen. It's best to wait once the likelihood of sudden temperature rise has passed to sow outdoors, which is typically between the end of November to mid-December. No watering or maintenance is necessary until the seedlings sprout.
Direct sowing in the ground. This is the easiest method for larger areas. A rule of thumb is to cover the seeds with soil approximately the diameter of the seed. However, it can be challenging to know what to weed the following year, especially for beginners.
Outdoor sowing in regular pots, with screens on top. This method enables you to grow seedlings and plant them in the springtime. While the screens are not necessary, they will prevent seeds from being blown away or eaten by birds. It is best to put the pots in an eastern or northern facing area to make sure seeds do not get too much heat and sun. An overview of this method is provided by the Wild Seed Project. You can also use this method by the S&K Wildflower Rescue Nursery
This process uses outdoor plastic containers to create a mini greenhouse. Grow it and build it has put together a step by step sowing guide.
Most seeds require some form of cold moist stratification, which is a process of making seeds go through temperature fluctuations in a damp environment to simulate springtime. This process is necessary for successful germination for some seeds that have protective shells that can only be broken through a succession of cold and warm weather. Given that not all seeds require stratification, it is recommended to consult the Prairie Moon Nursery website (planting tab) to confirm whether it is needed. Plants that require stratification cannot be simply sown directly outdoors either in the soil or in pots in the spring.
At this time of the year, indoor stratification (in the fridge) is recommended for these plants. Instructions on the process can be found on the North American Native Plant Society website. You can also watch videos from the Waterloo Wildflower Seed Library and Wildflower Farm. Please note that you cannot simply put the seed envelope in the fridge; you need a plastic bag and some other form of material (soil, paper towel or paper coffee filter) to ensure sufficient moisture level
During the summer, sow seeds directly in the soil at the end of after the blooming time. A rule of thumb is to cover the seeds with soil approximately the height of the seed. Specific blooming timeframe are available on the Prairie Moon Nursery website. Seeds will typically germinate the following spring.