Time to Plant Wildflower Seeds for Next Spring

Bluebonnets_Spring2016
Bluebonnets_Spring2016

Now is the time to plant your wildflower seeds for next spring.   Any time is good during October or November before the cold weather gets settled in our area.   This gives the seeds plenty of time for germination before the spring sprouts come forth.   Be sure you keep the seeds moist by watering when it’s not raining.   We’re having a dry fall this year, so you may need to rely on watering your seed to have a nice wildflower crop next spring.   You can buy wildflower seeds most anywhere, but some packets on sale for our area do contain grass seed, too.   So, if it’s only wildflower seeds you’re looking for, be sure to check the back of the package to see just how many seeds are included inside.   Or you can buy from one of the wild seed sources listed on our website & below:

  • Wildseed Farms of Fredericksburg, TX, www.wildseedfarms.com;
  • Native American Seed of Junction, TX, www.seedsource.com.

Wildflowers not only add beauty to your landscape, but they bring in the pollinators necessary for our food crops.   Additionally, most wildflowers are not eaten by the deer except in extreme drought conditions making these flowers a great choice to add to your home here at Oakridge Ranch.

And don’t forget to send pictures of your wildflowers to ORWMA at oakridgeranchwma@gmail.com.

Live life outdoors!

Butterfly Garden, May 2013
Butterfly Garden, May 2013

Texas Native Plant Week Oct 20-26

We are in the middle of Texas Native Plant Week.  Consider adding natives to your landscape.  Check out the Native Plant Society of Texas link below for more information on drought-tolerant native plants: www.nspot.org.

This is also the time of year to plant your butterfly garden for next spring/summer, best time to plant your wildflower seeds, etc.  Several sites are available online to find seeds including the following:
Wildseed Farms,  www.wildseedfarms.com
Native American Seeds,  www.seedsource.com

Native Plant to Look for on Oakridge Road

Pussyfoot, Dalea obovata; Photo by Gl.Lambert, June 2013
Pussyfoot, Dalea obovata; Photo by Gl.Lambert, June 2013

Pussyfoot, Stinking Prairie-clover Dalea obovata can be found in the Lambert’s front acreage, and around, along Oakridge Road.  And probably elsewhere because this plant is endemic to Texas and particularly loves the sandy soil and scattered oaks of the ranch.  This perennial herb is a member of the pea family.  At the ranch it typically flowers in the spring with whitish flowers, going to seed in late summer.   Elsewhere, flowering has been recorded from April until October.  Plants can reach 1′ to 2′ tall.   They are particularly beneficial to bees.

Thank you Glenda for the great picture.

I found an additional picture that allows permission to post, of a larger plant,  just for comparison of size:

Pussyfoot, Goliad, Tx, Bill Carr_2007
Pussyfoot, Goliad, Tx, Bill Carr_2007

Now regardless of time of year, you will perhaps be able to see its potential and recognize it a little easier.

 

Plant Your Own Butterfly Garden

Butterfly Garden at Still Waters Ranch-Oakridge; May 2013
Butterfly Garden at Still Waters Ranch-Oakridge; May 2013

Many native plants as well as drought tolerant ones are available to use when planting your own butterfly garden or just to have a small blooming area of joy right outside your window.  We planted several colors of Cosmos and Zinnia. In addition, we now have native wildflowers growing up in among the planted seeds, none of which have been disturbed by the deer.  This little garden has been blooming for a couple of months now and has been enjoyed by the butterflies, bees and humans alike.  Why don’t you give it a try and see what you can grow, too!

Finding Native Vines

Spurred Butterfly Pea; Photo by Gr.Lambert, June 2013
Spurred Butterfly Pea; Photo by Gr.Lambert, June 2013

Spurred Butterfly pea Centrosema virginianum, part of the bean (legume) family.  We can find this sprawling vine from about April to September. It is vining, with no tendrils. The flower is a great nectar source and the plant is larval food plant for Long-tailed Skipper Butterfly, Urbanus proteus.  It’s great for the organic butterfly garden. Thankfully, it tolerates dry conditions well.  Thank you, Grady, for another great picture.

Flowers Blooming Now

Purple Pleat-Leaf Grady Lambert found blooming May 2013
Purple Pleat-Leaf Grady Lambert found blooming May 2013

Wonderful picture from Grady of one of our native wildflowers, the Purple Pleat-Leaf Alophia drummondii.   Sometimes called Pinewood Lily.  This flower loves our sandy soil, and can be found blooming from April – June, in part shade.  Since it doesn’t make a great cut flower, best to enjoy them where you see them; flowers remain open a very short time. In fact, they tend to wither by the noon heat.    If you should want to move them into your garden, you need to sow seed in the fall.

Beauty with a Bite!

Texas Bull-Nettle is often called Mala Mujer (“bad woman” in Spanish).  This perennial native wildflower is quite a beauty to behold.  But she holds a powerful bite!  The foliage is covered in tiny hairs that are actually fine needles and are filled with a sap that can cause many painful skin irritations such as rashes, burns, and infections that can last for weeks.  The plant is drought tolerant and quickly spreading.  Bull-Nettle is popular with honeybees & butterflies and many other insects.  Watch out for this wildflower and only “admire” from a distance!

Texas Bull-Nettle at Oakridge Ranch; Photo by Brenda LaVergne_2012
Texas Bull-Nettle at Oakridge Ranch; Photo by Brenda LaVergne_2012