New Member With Questions About Perennial Seeds

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ocala, Fl zone 9
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I will try to be brief about my issue(s).

This past spring (April 2022) I decided to replace about 1/4 acre of my useless and fertilizer dependent lawn. everything I read told me that lawns really serve no purpose aside from a uniform green yard. In an effort to support and attract pollinators as well as have some color I decided to plant a wildflower meadow. As recommended I removed all grass and used a drag to smooth surface. i went the extra step of waiting 2 weeks to plant so I could remove any stray grass or weeds which pooped up.

Following this I spent about $700 on a mix of perennial and annual seed mixes described as Fl wildflower mix and Southeast wild flower mix. will not name the online company as I do not know if this allowed on the forum.

Anyway, mixed the seed with sand and sowed my bare land. This was followed by lightly dragging the area to slightly cover yet not bury the seed.

After a few weeks did get some germination but for the most part I feel wasted a lot of hard earned money.

One thing I have since read is that to sow annual seeds is a"waste of money" and I am better served by sowing perennials only.

So here is my confusion. I realize many perennials require cold stratification ,BTW I am in Zone 9 (North Central Florida and my soil is basically nutrient poor sand)

It is my understanding that if I sow this fall in say Oct/Nov the seeds will cold stratify over the winter (we do get lows into the 35-40 degree range). If I take this route the seeds will germinate this coming spring but I will not get blooms until the following spring. Is this this correct or have I been misinformed?

My other option is to place the seeds in refrigerator with moist medium to cold stratify. Now if I were to do this now and sow the seeds in 4-5 weeks I assume they will germinate and have enough time to develop strong root system before really cold weather and maybe flower this coming spring. Is this a poor strategy as I do have concerns that the newly planted seeds will be killed by frost if not developed enough to tolerate winter as mature plants do.

There is a third option: simply buy mature plants as I did with lantana, penta, Rudbeckia and Mexican petunia. These mature plants are colorful and attractive to butterflies as well No dealing with seeds but downside is to plant 1/4 acre would be too expensive. Besides I like the idea of growing plants from seeds. Being recently retired it is both a challenge and a pleasure to be in the garden.

As an side I was told Lantana is a "weed".ell if so give an acre of weeds I find them beautiful and attractive to butterflies as well.

If interested here is a link to the article which recommends planting only perennials. I realize it is directed at the northeast but wouldn't the principle apply to my area as well?


So how best to proceed.?
 
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My other option is to place the seeds in refrigerator with moist medium to cold stratify. Now if I were to do this now and sow the seeds in 4-5 weeks I assume they will germinate and have enough time to develop strong root system before really cold weather and maybe flower this coming spring. Is this a poor strategy as I do have concerns that the newly planted seeds will be killed by frost if not developed enough to tolerate winter as mature plants do.
There is a general warming , not just through climate change, but also because of the explosion of an underwater volcano which shot millions of tons of water vapour into the stratosphere. This will probably take two or three years to sort itself out, and unlike most volcanic pollution that keeps heat out and cools things down the water traps heat in. The long and the short of it, the probability of it staying warm later in the year is good and you might well get away with it. The other aspect is that it might not get cold enough to stratify seeds over winter, I don't know how much warmer than average you would have to be for that though
 

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