Monarch Butterflies Nectaring at Pink New Enlgand Aster, Gloucester
Thank you so much to our most awesome community for participating in the Cape Ann Monarch Milkweed and Aster Project. Today was a huge and wonderful success and we were non-stop with folks dropping in to pick up their seeds and learn more about how they can help the Monarchs. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
And my most heartfelt thanks to Joey. He nudged me into doing the sale again this year by inquiring just about a month ago if we were planning a repeat of last year’s plant sale. Joey’s hospitality and interest in everyone who stops by makes Captain Joe’s a wonderfully fun place to have a community event!
Note to anyone who could not pick up their seeds or who was planning to have them sent via a self-addressed stamped envelope: You will recieve an email with information on where to send the check and order amount total. Thanks again to everyone!
Fun fact about butterflies: Butterflies do not grow fur. The fur-like structures that you see on butterflies are many single cells conjoined to form one long string.
* * *
In case you misplace the instructions on how to prepare your milkweed seeds for spring planting ~
How to Vernalize Milkweed Seeds for Spring Planting
Seeds of most temperate plants need to be vernalized—in other words, exposed to cold temperatures. The best way to vernalize is by stratification, which means subjecting seeds to a cold and moist environment for a short period of time. By stratifying, the seed’s natural break of dormancy that occurs when the seed spends the winter in the ground is simulated.
#1 Method of Stratifying Milkweed
Open the bag of seeds and place them between very slightly moistened paper towels in a plastic bag in the refrigerator. After vernalizing for 3-6 weeks, the seeds can be planted out in the garden in warm 70º soil.
#2 Method of Stratifying Milkweed
Place ¼ cup of sand mixed with ¼ tsp. of water in a plastic bag. Add the seeds and mix again. Store in plastic bag in the refrigerator. After vernalizing for 3-6 weeks, the seeds can be planted out in the garden in warm 70º soil.
Prepare the planting bed in a sunny location. Scatter seeds, or plant in rows, and cover with no more than ¼ inch of soil.
For natural vernalization, sow collected seeds directly into a prepared bed in the fall and the seed will germinate the following spring.
Monarch Butterfly Caterpillars Munching on Milkweed