Many native wildflower seeds need a cold period to stimulate germination. Often, when you buy seeds the company recommends that you put them in a wet paper towel, or in sand, and then place in the fridge for a specific period, usually 30-120 days, depending on the species. I've had medium success with the fridge method and have been reading and looking around for alternatives. I found a post done by Margaret Roach, who has the BEST logo on her site A Way to Garden. Instead of the fridge and mimicking winter, you can plant the seeds in late fall, early winter, and keep the trays outside and protected. Today, November 27. 2021, I decided to give this method a try and got the seeds of Orange Coneflower, Indian Blanket, Narrowleaf Sunflower, Blue Lobelia, Showy Tickseed, and Cardinal Flower started.
Trying to find a space that isn't pecked apart by the chickens is a challenge, so I decided to put cardboard over the soil on my garden bed and put the seed trays on top, and then cover with metal mesh. This spot may be too sunny, and I might have to shift the seeds to a shadier spot, but it feels good to get a start on the 2022 gardening season!