Native and Drought Resistant Plants for St. Augustine: Wildflower Plantings in November

by Sean Hess (Sean@StAugTeam.com), Broker and Manager for St. Augustine Team Realty (www.StAugustineTeamRealty.com). Join us on Facebook.

My daughter seeding Florida native wildflowers.

My daughter seeding Florida native wildflowers.

This month we’re finally seeding wildflowers for our Valley of Life Project.

A recap: I’ve nicknamed my front yard “The Valley of Death” because nothing will grow there, except sand and the occasional weed.  So I decided to replant it using Florida native and drought resistant plants that are perfect for the soil and climate (read about our earlier plantings this season).

Last month we tarped off an area of the Valley for planting Florida native wildflowers.  The idea is to kill anything underneath the tarp using the heat of the sun, which is ironic as nothing grows in the Valley anyway.

In the meantime we ordered a 1.5 oz seed packet from FloridaWildflowers.com.  I ordered the beach wildflower mix which includes Beach Sunflower, Blanket Flower, Soft Coneflower, Standing Cypress, and Powder Puff Mimosa.  I chose the beach mix because I really like Blanket Flower and Soft Coneflower.

The real trick (before ordering the seeds) was trying to figure out how much/many seeds we needed.  After doing some research online I somehow came up with the figure of 7 pounds of seeds per acre.  The tarped test area that we were going to plant the wildflower seeds on was only 120 square feet (.22 percent of an acre).  So the smallest seed pack sold (1.5 ounces) would actually work out to something like 4 times as much seed as we needed.

When I pulled off the tarp this weekend the scraggly grass that was there when I covered it was dead (okay, I exaggerate when I say nothing grows…the grass is patchy and gets burned out easily in the hot sun), but some of the scraggly weeds still managed to maintain some green.  The weeds don’t grow well but they won’t die either!  Oh, well.

I moved the tarp to an adjacent area that we’ll seed next month.

My daughter and I used a rake to scrape and till the area, but not too much.

Then we took out the wildflower seeds in pinch-fuls and let the wind broadcast them onto the tilled area.  It’s hard to believe that so few seeds are needed.

Stomping down the wildflower seeds.

Fun, fun, fun! Stomping down the wildflower seeds.

Then the fun part (for my daughter) was stomping over the area to make sure the seeds made contact with the soil, so they can germinate.

Ideally we should have tarped the area in August and planted the seeds in October, per the reccomendations for Northeast Florida.  But since we live so close to the actual coast where it’s warmer, as opposed to being well inland, I’m hoping we’ll get by with a later planting season more suited to Central Florida.

If things go as planted the seeds should sprout sometime in the spring or early summer.

Contact St. Augustine Team or just call (904) 386-8327 if you want to find your Florida native home today!

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