MuseumLink Project Info
  Collecting and Growing Plants    
Prairie Ecosystems
Prairie Restoration
Planting a Prairie Garden
How Do You Plant?
Selecting Plants
Growing Plants
Collecting Seeds
Preparing Seeds
Storing Seeds
Green Thumb Tips
Human Voices
Inspiration for Art
Restoration Game
Teacher Orientation
      You can cultivate prairie plants for seed collection later in the summer and fall. Plant in early spring, after the ground has warmed. You will be kept busy throughout the spring months tilling, seeding, watering, and weeding. In larger gardens volunteers and school children can help collect seeds by hand when they are ripe. Some very large projects use farm machinery like combines to collect the seeds. Collecting seeds from various sources is beneficial to your prairie garden.

Seeds from a variety of sources contribute to the overall health of individual plants and your garden. Some plants may be more resistant to different diseases and insect problems. By having plants from different sources, you will lower the chances that your entire garden may be wiped out by a specific problem. Pollen grains being carried by the wind or bees will also contribute to the diversity of future generations of prairie plants. 

By collecting and processing your own seeds, you can learn about the seeds, the specific times plants flower, and what a seed needs to begin growing. Some plants will flower at slightly different times of the year depending upon the weather patterns affecting the growing cycle each year. By paying attention to the different factors that influence growing times, you may be able to predict when a plant will flower and when its seeds will be ready for collection in that year.


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