Saturday, March 7, 2015

They really sprout!

I came across this green blogger who didn't believe that plantable paper actually sprouts, and was very pleased to see flowers growing once it did!

I will admit to being highly skeptical of plantable seed paper. As a green blogger, I had collected a small box full of the paper from sources such as a Silk soy milk desk calendar made from the stuff, to a thank you card, to a bookmark, and more. I couldn't recycle them because I felt guilty about the plants that could be hiding in the seeds (who knew that there even were?), and also because I wondered if they would mess with the paper recycling stream - so I kept them for a couple years. Eventually I took the box outside at the end of one summer, to my then-floundering sun-soaked front yard. I tore up the paper, buried it under a few layers of soil, watered it, and called it a day.

I didn't think about my experiment through the fall and winter, and by springtime, I had forgotten I'd even planted the seed embedded paper. But then an amazing thing happened, there were unfamiliar plants growing that didn't look like weeds! I grew up in the woods of the Hudson Valley (not a lot of wildflowers there), but my grandmother had once sown a huge field with wildflowers during a volunteer day at Manitoga/The Russel Wright Design Center. I had worked there years later, mowing near those same flowers, and recognized them as similar to the young shoots headed for the sun in my yard. At least I thought I recognized them.

I gave them the benefit of the doubt, not expecting that I would actually get flowers out of my saved-for-years packages from various sources. Thinking that maybe they would shoot up and flop over, never flower, or last a season and disappear, I watched and waited. Now, I have no idea which packages 'worked' and which didn't, and I think that some of them must have contained seeds that were too old to sprout, but despite these shortcomings, I'm happy to report that some of them did! Now three years later they're still going strong in the bright sun - even despite my crummy soil. But I guess that's the power of wildflowers - they're hearty - from seeds to plants to flower, they keep going and going. So now I'm a convert, and yes, I'm still saving those seed-embedded papers, and thinking that early next spring I'm going to go for another round.

Very neat that this blogger had success, and with very old seeds. Since my product is pictured in the blog, I assume one of the things she planted came from me. And I would hazard to guess that my product was one of the ones that did sprout. All of my products are made with the highest quality freshest seeds I can find. And while I recommend planting within 12 months for best germination, some of the seeds are viable for as long as 5 years. Viva the wildflower!

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