October is the time to think about what you want your bird and butterfly friendly landscape to look like in the spring! This is the best time to buy native plants from the nursery as they are winding down their summer sales and are looking to empty their inventories so they don’t need to carry them through the winter. It’s also a great time to plant since it’s cool for you and the plants focus on growing their roots versus putting all their energy into leaves and flowers.
This is also the perfect time to get seeds out into the garden and this is the time to buy them. Depending on the species, the seeds will germinate sometime between September and December so having them in the soil in the fall is really important.
I like to buy seeds online in large quantities, go out into the garden and loosen up the soil a bit with a rake and then sprinkle them throughout the garden, using the rake to help get them into the soil a bit. The seeds then have the time they need to work their way into the soil and go through the winter stratification that they need to germinate and be ready for spring.
I love planting seeds because it also means that I don’t have to do much after I send the seeds off into the garden – no need to water small plants or fuss over them. Being native plants, they know what to do and are primed to take care of themselves with just a little weeding from me next spring and summer. Of course, you can do some watering of the seeds if you want and it will probably increase your germination rate. I suggest watching how much rain we get and maybe just giving one good soaking on a cloudy day.
For ideas on some great native wildflowers to put into your bird and butterfly friendly landscape, check our Gardening for Wildlife Plant List and other resources on our Habitat Restoration pages.