Be prepared for a shock if you purchase milkweed seeds!
I ordered 1,500 milkweed seeds from Native American Seed http://www.seedsource.com . I have ordered seeds from this company before; however, I ordered in much smaller quantities (seed packets with 10 seeds that cost $3 on average). This time I ordered a Dpak of seeds (1,500) that cost $29.00. With the shipping cost and state tax, the total was $44.67.
$44.67 for this!
I was expecting a package of seeds that weighed close 8 ounces if not more. Instead, when it came I was shocked. The entire package weighed 2 ounces. The container for the seeds was even smaller. It was six inches by two inches. Frankly, I felt ripped off once again by false advertising—but in our new society of “buyer beware”, where the consumer is held responsible for not being able to see through the subterfuge of advertiser, I shrugged it off to just another instance of my not paying close attention to the tricksters.
A Demonstration of Patience and Determination
Charlie, however, still has some fight left in him over this issue of not getting what was advertised. The outside of the packet promised 1,500 Common Milkweed seed. He counted them—separating them into piles of 100 seeds. At the end of his exercise Charlie had counted about 2,000 milkweed seeds. It was a good thing because we put each 100 count into a small envelope and then put the 20 envelopes into a Ziploc bag and put in the refrigerator. They will be much more manageable in these quantities for distribution in our community.
I also took ten out and put them in a jar of water to soak. I will plant them tomorrow. I know that all the "experts" tell us that milkweed seed must be cold stratified (put in fridge for at least 30 days) prior to planting in the spring. However I have 32 milkweed seedlings that were not cold stratified but were soaked for a little over 24 hours prior to planting.
Note: The ideal time to plant milkweed seed is in the late fall. When you do it this way you can just sow directly in the soil without having to go through the process of cold stratification. However, milkweed seed is reported to have notoriously low germination rates in the wild.
Not All Milkweed Seed Is Created Equal
You are likely to have the greatest success with seeds taken from milkweed grown in the area where you live. I was fortunate to obtain some seeds that came from the White Rock Lake area—only a few miles from where I live. That is another reason why I ordered from Native American Seed. Although not local, at least they are located in Junction Texas. Many of the specialty native seeds purchased in stores and nurseries around here come from Botanical Interests—a company located in Broomfield Colorado, hardly local.
Also I’ve found the shapes and sizes of Milkweed seeds vary according to the variety of milkweed. If you would like to see a list of all the native milkweed plants in Texas, visit our Loving Garland Green website. We have a complete list of all 36 varieties.
The seed on the left is Asclepias viridis (Green Milkweed). The seed on the right is Asclepias syriaca (Common Milkweed). The Common Milkweed seed is also similar in shape and size to the Showy Milkweed seed (Asclepias Speciosa).
Getting the Garland Community Garden Ready for Milkweed and Other Loving Garland Green Upcoming Events
On Saturday, March 5, we installed a brick border and a few plants in what will be known as the Pollinator Heaven plot down at the garden. In the foreground you can see blue mist flower and some Salvia greggi. You can’t see the tiny seedlings of the Asclepias viridis in the photo, but they are there. I’ll be curious to see how/if they survived our recent rain. So far the ones I planted in my yard are holding up to the rain.
- HUGE YARD SALE - Saturday March 19 - 10 AM to 3PM - 321 Pebble Creek Drive - Garland, Texas 75040 - This promises to be one of our largest sales ever. One of our member has obtained a donation of a storage unit. In addition we also have many more special items such as a bicycle and a sound system.
- MONTHLY GUEST SPEAKER EVENT -- Plant Propagation. Monday, March 21- 6:30 to 7:30 PM - Downtown Garland Library - Just in time for spring! Learn how to propagate plants. Tim Wilten, Master Gardener will be the speaker.
- POLLINATOR MANIA - Saturday March 26-- an event for young people ages four to fourteen. The kiddos will learn about pollinators and the important role they play in our food chain. There will be a craft exercise associated with this event. Each participant will get a free packet of Common Milkweed seed. Time: 11AM to Noon. This event also coincides with our last Saturday of the month garden workday. The children will have the opportunity to chat with Loving Garland Green members about the various plots and plants at the garden.
- PLANT SALE APRIL 9 - 11AM to 3PM--We already have 30 Turk's Cap bushes and are hoping to have many more Texas natives at this sale.