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Summer Seed Collecting

Each year we start collecting seeds in May and usually wind down at the end of October, or in some years into November, depending on fall weather. That means that we are collecting seeds for half the year, every year! We start in the low country and work up in elevation as seeds ripen in the high country, but even at low elevations there are late-blooming species that ripen late in the summer or early fall. Right now is probably the peak of seed collection, as both low elevation and high elevation species are on!

Each year the timing of seed ripening for specific species changes a little. This year we had a wet, cool early start to summer and native seeds have matured a little later in the low country, but have been pretty similar to the average seed collection times in higher elevation areas. We keep detailed seed collection data on the location and date of when and where we collect our seeds to make future seed collection trips more successful and to help us hit the right time to collect seeds.

We have been busy in the field this summer and haven’t had time to do much writing or computer oriented tasks — of course, we’re still getting your seed orders shipped! — as we work hard, drive and hike far out in the backcountry, and collect seeds, often on steep terrain and off-trail, in the heat of summer, to bring you the seeds you need to meet your native seeding and planting goals. 

Each year we are excited to offer a few new species to our growing list of diverse native plants seeds, from a wide variety of habitat types, and this year is no different! We’ll have some new, exciting species this year, as well restocked availability for popular species that have been out of stock for a while.

Be patient with us as we get our inventory updated as we are also busy cleaning and packaging seeds! Our trusty Dybvig and Clipper seed cleaning machines have been working away, helping us clean our seeds for packaging. Cleaning seeds is time and labor intensive, but also enjoyable! You really get to know a plant when you clean its seed and look at the seed in detail, observing all the parts that make it particularly adapted to its natural environment.

We have seed collection contracts to fulfill, and waiting/notification lists to contact with updated inventory information. If we are lucky to have found seed for the species you’ve been waiting for this summer, we’ll let you know when we have it ready! Otherwise, just peruse our SHOP page and see what’s available and start dreaming up your fall seeding and planting plans now! August is the perfect time to start planing for fall seeding!