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 Post subject: Native Seed Companies
PostPosted: Mon Oct 02, 2006 5:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 793
Location: zone 7a-OKC
I plan to order some native plant seeds for winter sowing, and especially those that attract or host various butterflies. I know Prairie Moon is a good company (per Garden Watchdog), but native seeds are so darned expensive! PM seeds to be the most reasonable I've found, and their seeds are $2/packet. Wonder why native seeds are more expensive than other ornamentals.

Anyway, I was curious as to whether any of you had ordered native seeds, what company, and did you have good luck with them.

Thanks for any input.

Susan


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 03, 2006 2:11 am 
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Joined: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:14 am
Posts: 31
Location: WI z4
While it is true that many of the common garden seeds can be purchased for less than $2 a pkt, many less common ornamentals are $3 or more a pkt. The common ones have been in mass agricultrual production for centuries. That lowers the cost. The sunflower seeds that I use to feed the birds are less than $10 for 50 lbs. Native plant seeds (and the less common ornamentals and vegetables) are produced in much smaller quantities. Some also require specialized equipment to harvest the seed. Many are more difficult to grow and to propagate. Some species only produce a few seeds. All these things increase the cost.

That being said, I agree that buying a lot of native plants and seeds can put a kink in the budget rather quickly :lol: .

I don't know of any nursery/company that beats (or even equals) Prairie Moon in variety or value. I've ordered from them many times and have always been satisified.
http://www.prairiemoon.com/

One company that I have ordered from that does have some seed for $1 a pkt is Prairie Seed Source. The quantities in the pkts are smaller, but if you only want to start a few plants they might be a good alternative:
http://users.ameritech.net/rasillon/Seed.html

Two companies that have more southern selections are Easy Wildflowers and Native American Seed. Easy Wildflowers are $2.50 a pkt with a generous quantity of seeds. I have not ordered from Native American Seed (their plants wouldn't do too well in my Z4 winters), but they do have some pkts for $1.50.
http://www.easywildflowers.com/Seeds.htm
http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/botanical.asp

Trading seeds with other butterfly enthusiasts might be another option worth exploring.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 06, 2006 6:15 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2006 9:09 pm
Posts: 13
Location: Calgary, zone 3
You might be interested in Alplains. They have a terrific selection of North American native plants, including many alpines. The prices for the seed volumes supplied are much less than I am used to paying for interesting species.

I have not yet ordered from them, but, now having received the free catalogue, I think I'll have to!

Their website is www.alplains.com.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2006 8:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 4:28 pm
Posts: 148
Location: Pt. Orchard, WA
Up north there is a small company; Whatcom seed, that carries many exotics and natives. Some can be a bit pricey, but if you are into rare or somewhat strange plants, they are worth looking into.

http://seedrack.com/

_________________
"There is always some madness in love. But there is also always
some reason in madness."


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2006 7:02 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
hello northeastwisc;
I'm west and southwest and
God Willing will someday soon return to the desert and continue my work with desert sands and endemic caespitose short grasses.... Can't reasonably evaluate your links because there is always the possibility that a company's catalog goes into more detail than what is portrayed on the internet...>> particular formats (ie.extensive charts and an approach that pushes me beyond a certain perspective/consumer buying)are more important to me ....{i.e biology/ecology/genetics}

{additional} a note to swallowtail ....I find myself rather bewildered and perplexed trying to define what one means by "wintersowing" these days ....There is a historical context and contemporary context beyond what appears to be available on forums{ie>> if you are able to journey into the hills and mountains of propagators and their sites working on shoestring budgets not having access to computers}>>and yet,(implied), there is no stopping an inquiring mind from utilizing other resources .... I'll only try to carefully suggest a referral to the Seed Site with regards to a rendition of a critical review of "WS" and how off track we are becoming ...only suggest a careful, private, critical review....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:12 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
re;coldframes;hothouses;deep pits,root cellars and Guy Nearing Frames: used for wintering over ;I'll refer to Peter Thompson's (former Kew Gardens propagator)
Creative Propagation(Timber Press) first edition , though there is now a second edition...and Brooklyn Botanic Garden Publications{and my recollections of reading Mother Earth News Publications and a Helen and Scott Nearing Book (Living the Good Life) way back when....rather find myself 2xing meds with beverages sitting in on other(website) forums,and innaccurate off the cuff remarks:(re:presently: deep pits/ temperature readings/zone 5)as I suppose that I've worked with a five foot deep carefully covered pit for twenty years, zone 5,back east on the northside/shaded (important notations))of a Lord and Burnham Glasshouse.....No references to noteworthy Books either I see.... as a form of checks and balances of individual interpretations/posts..


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 793
Location: zone 7a-OKC
Pickwick, I apologize for the delay in responding to your first message. For some reason, I overlooked it or it overlooked me. LOL.

Winter sowing is an ancient art I believe in the past done under glass (since plastic had not been invented yet). Coldframes probably come closest to it now. However, winter sowing is simply the germination of seed in a protected environment, of perennials and hardy annuals, self-sowing, etc., so that they are not consumed by birds, insects, or misplaced by nature and beyond. It is a rather effective method of sowing seeds, as I found out by my first endeavor last year.

I use 2-ltr soda bottles, but any container that will provide at least 4" (solid) of potting soil minimum, and light (for most seeds), which in effect is a "greenhouse" atmosphere. Here in my zone 7 (Oklahoma), I start my seeds around late December into January and February. Less hardy annuals I start in March. I sterilize the containers in a weak bleach solution of soap and water. Poke holes in the bottom for drainage (eventually they will need to be watered or fertilized, depending on the potting soil used. Do not use seed starting mix. Only potting soil.

I dampen the potting soil before putting in the container; then I water them well, allowing the soil to settle. Then, I sow the seeds, a few in each container. I label mine by just using notecards cut in strips and sealing them with clear packing tape. Plant name; date sown. They can be placed in full sun, but I put mine on the east side of the house up against the house itself; and on the south side of the house up against the fenceline, to protect them from being blown about. I also tuck in some leaves that have fallen during autumn. I don't use the lids on the soda bottles, but leave them off to allow some air circulation.

Many are up in about 2 weeks even during our coldest weather. If you haven't used a potting soil with fertilizer, you should begin a fertilizing regimen (weak solution; about 1/4 strength).

If you have seedlings that are crowded when ready to plant, we use the "hunk of seedlings" or HOS planting method. Just pull out a hunk of the seedlings and plant them. They'll do fine.

I grew foxgloves, arisaemas, lychnis, liminanthes, gaillardia, parsley, hops, pawpaw, chives, poppies, salvias, larkspur. and many other plants too numerous to mentioned, using this method.

I once was acquainted with the fellow that grew the begonia collection for Kew, when I was heavily involved in the ABS. Quite a humerous chap he was. I love Christopher Loyd, too. Do you not like living in Colorado? All those beautiful mountain and alpine plants?

Susan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 5:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
hello swallowtail
....no, I do not like living here as I am irrigating with wretched river water - well investigated (several sources)...which shall remain private.... {I use to be involved (paid) with wetland veg.surveys, seepage areas,stream flow measurements maintaining/improving buffer zones,ect... once over thirty years ago... correspond now with contemporary specialists using GPS I don't like what I see.............................}
-----------------------------------------
As you realize,there are micro-climate growing zones within zones...Prefer the Tables and Figures presented by Dr.Thomas Landis, (USDA Handbook 674 volume 5)...should be available online at the Forest Service site...
when I think of "wintersowing" now, I substitute that contemporary definition with"Outdoor Growing Environments"to help maintain my own sanity remembering the people/growers/structures/published references/open air situations of my own life:not a Google Search.....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:42 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 10:10 am
Posts: 793
Location: zone 7a-OKC
Thank you, and I will check that out. Yes, I am familiar somewhat (on a limited basis) with microclimate growing areas. For instance, in my own backyard. It is pretty much a microclimate and I have pushed the zones a bit experimenting with warmer zone plantings there, and been successful to some degree. Living in the city, urban area, lots of concrete around me, plus a southern exposure (lots of sun in winter when deciduous trees have exfoliated), plus the tall hackberries, sycamores, and elms surrounding the perimeter of my backyard; other houses around me, too; my ground rarely freezes. Therefore, many tropicals have proven to be root hardy in my yard.

I am sorry you are in a location that you dislike so immensely. But, I doubt you would like Oklahoma much better. I do not like Oklahoma much either. But, since my daughter and granddaughter live here, I chose to live here as well so I could be in direct proximity (meaning they live with me, LOL!). I have little family, some in Kansas (SE), which is a very nice area, actually. I grew up on the verdigris and fall rivers there - guess I was kind of a river rat - exposed to lots of nature. Not much nature to be found in big city life. But, there are also "cons" to living in small towns as well. Such as the greater power of discrimination, which I disliked greatly. I do not care for other people to know my bank balance; you get the drift.

However, I did love the rivers, the countryside, our cabin on the river, the lovely old bridges, dirt roads, birds, butterflies, slower lifestyle. I raise butterflies and moths in my urban garden, and do all that I can do to encourage wildlife. I even have possums and a toad who have lived here with me for the past 5 years. Occasionally see a garter snake here and there; have a roosting owl; and one day witnessed a duck (female mallard) walking down the sidewalk in front of the house. Raised 100 Monarchs this summer and released them. Also raise sphinx moths (eumorpha achemon feeds on Virginia Creeper; 8-spotted forester as well; tomato and tobacco hornworms, and the lovely little Snowberry Clearwing moths (incubating in the fridge til next spring). I provide lots of nectar and host plants, mostly native species because the nectar has not been bred out of them. I'm sure others may think I'm crazy, but I love the wild look of the garden. Providing for wildlife as I do, I garden organically as much as possible, never using chemicals of any kind which could kill my butterfly and moth larvae.

My neighbor, who shares the Virginia Creeper with me, also never sprays his plant because he knows I collect the moth caterpillars to hand raise.

I raise mostly Monarchs, but also Gulf Fritillaries, black swallowtails, giant swallowtails, sulphurs, and Red Admirals so far. I am sowing many native seeds during the winter in order to provide many more host and nectar plants. The moths especially love the deep-throated flowers of nicotiana, datura, allamanda (not native), petunias, brugmansias, honeysuckle, and others. I provide them with nectaring and host plants. The daturas and brugs host the tobacco and tomato hornworms (manduca sexta and manduca quinquemaculata). I try to get out the word that not all of these should be killed. Many people I've crossed paths with now provide extra tomato plants for the hornworms, and gently move them off their prize tomatoes to the surplus plants they grow now just for them. These are the ONLY lepidoptera that are able to pollinate their prize adeniums, daturas, and brugs, and other tropicals with deep-throated flowers, for gosh sakes!

Sorry to be so long-winded! Thanks for the information, pickwick!

Susan


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 9:46 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
Thank you swallowtail for your dialogue with me,as I see an earnest and honest attempt to wade through hypes and integrate approaches benefiting your particular interests...


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Nov 10, 2006 2:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2006 9:41 am
Posts: 88
Location: Missouri - Zone 6
Susan -
Have you checked out Hamilton Seed for natives yet? They set up a booth at the Native Symposium here every year and I've bought seeds at that but haven't ordered from them before. Their seeds are around $2.00 a packet also but they're generous and put a lot of seeds in them, I think a couple hundred in each packet. They also have seed mixes and sell in bulk.

http://www.hamiltonseed.com/


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
....for western/southwestern growers,I recommend the Granite Seed Catalog(there is a minimum $$ on orders)...My 2003-2004 catalog (page 4) makes an attempt to help a person weigh factors(topics) such as certified seed;sources of identified seed;sight adaptive seed;pure live seed and planting rates.Included elsewhere are decent charts(again noted:differences in what is available on the the internet and other noted changes from what once was available...), rating species characteristics , adaptations and also changes in Botanical Taxonomy accounting for approximately 88 entries of their current offerings....
{add}useful as a reference as I keyed in on site adaptive seed -utitlized books,for examples:(F.Gould; A.Michael Powell;Cheplick;Simpson;Chapman; a Univ.of N.M.grass taxonomy book;desert observations..... and personal correspondences with K.W.Allred i.e.Aristida,for an example)....


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:19 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 06, 2006 9:10 pm
Posts: 38
Location: colorado
re:site adaptive seed;
T.A.Jones,a plant geneticist,published an article I obtained from the Forest Service in the 1990s entitled:
Genetic Considerations for Native Plant Materials.
related:
Genetic Principles for the use of native seeds:just the faqs,please,just the faqs... (T.A. Jones)NativePlants Journal(Spring 2005);
...and part two.......native seeds for commerce:more FAQs(Thomas A.Jones;Stanford Young (NativePlants Journal;(Fall 2005)
journal homepage:
http://www.nativeplantnetwork.org/journal/
>>search publications (left margin)
{could not provide a direct link to the first NPJ publication}

... {USDA /NRCS site}:http://plants.usda.gov/index.html>Search engine and Topics(left margin):Characteristics;Factsheets;and so on....}

{add}...it might also be useful to add the plantstress site:
http://www.plantstress.com/Articles/index.asp
...if one is to acknowledge some of the current trends under our contemporary conditions....


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 Post subject: Native seed
PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:44 pm 
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Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2006 5:22 pm
Posts: 3821
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Have you tried Native Seeds S.E.A.R.C.H? I bought some Celosia cristata or Mano de Gato and they are growing great in my little plastic "green house". They sell seeds quite cheap. These were $2.75 per 1 gram packet or $7.00 for 14 grams. Well I got the 14 gram packet and if I want to plant all of them I'll need to purchase several more acres of land. Their web site is:

www.nativeseeds.org
or phone:
866-622-5561

They are located in Tucson, Arizona

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"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
ArizonaEd--Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society-- www.tucsoncactus.org


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Feb 19, 2007 4:55 am 
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Joined: Fri Feb 02, 2007 5:34 pm
Posts: 1
Location: Chicago Illinois USA
This has been a very interesting post for me. My heart lies with the native plants, birds and butterflies. I will take the time and check out everyones suggestion links. :D

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Lorraine


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