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It is TOO HOT!: How to Germinate Wildflowers Seeds in the Summer

It is TOO HOT!: How to Germinate Wildflowers Seeds in the Summer

Even here in Maine, it has finally become summer. While that means weekend trips to the beach, it also means that we have soil temperatures that are too hot for wildflower seed germination. So what can you do if you didn't already get your seeds started when it was cooler?  Dig out some cardboard boxes and follow these instructions:

1. Select your location, looking for a spot with good drainage. Prep the area by cleaning any debris, weeds, or grass and raking the top inch of soil. Mix in a nutrient rich potting soil to give your seeds a boost. Below is the prepped location we used in a bare spot in our flower garden.

Cleared patch of garden for planting

2. Sprinkle seeds on the surface and lightly cover.  You can walk over them lightly to compress them into the soil.  Some seeds will still be visible and that is fine.  We used the Bird and Butterfly Garden Mix, because who doesn't want more butterflies?

Wildflower Seed Packet in Hand

Wildflower seed packet in hand pouring seed out

3. Saturate the soil deeply with water.  More water, more water, more water.  Allow for it to soak in deeply and spray AGAIN.  REPEAT.  This also applies to Step #5.

Freshly watered empty patch of dirt with garden hose

4. Tear up the cardboard boxes into flat pieces and place over the prepped ground.

Pile of cardboard boxes on a lawn

5. Saturate the cardboard with water.  REPEAT (see Step #3).

Close up of water spraying from a garden hose

Wet cardboard covering a patch of garden

6. Water, water, and water again until the seedlings sprout in about 14-21 days.  You can then uncover, but watch for drying out.

Close up of sprouting seeds in dirt

Ideally, you would try to pick as mild a week as possible temperature-wise to try this out.  Wildflower seeds prefer a soil temperature around 70, so when it is hotter than that, the seeds must be kept wet and covered to keep it cooler and allow for germination.  Happy planting!

Pinetree Wildflower Seed Mixes:

Bird and Butterfly Garden Mix

North American Wildflower Mix

Deerproof Garden Mix

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