Stop by our Berkeley Garden Club booth at the Solano Stroll this coming Sunday, Sept. 9.
We’ll be handing out California wildflower seeds of the annual Baby Blue Eyes, Nemophila menziesii.
Like most of our annual wildflowers that form taproots, the baby blue eyes are best planted from seed in the area where you want them to grow. So here are some tips on seeding these delicate bell shaped, blue flowering plants that grow to about 6-12” high and trail to about 12” wide.
Best time to broadcast the seed is in the fall, optimally just before the first rains of the season. Rough up the soil, slightly, in the area you want them to grow.
Place the seed, in a clean bucket, or other handy container, and the add in roughly 10 parts light sand or vermiculite (do not use beach sand). Mix well—you’ll be able to see the even distribution since the seed is darker than the sand or vermiculite.
Divide the mixture in half. Then walk over to the area you want to plant, scatter the first half seed mixture in one direction over the whole area. Then take the rest of the mixture and broadcast it in a direction perpendicular to the first scattering, again over the whole area. This method will ensure somewhat even distribution of the seed.
At this point do not rake or cover the seed with soil. Just compress the seed into the loose bare soil by simply walking over the whole area. This will ensure ‘seed to soil contact’, a major element in successful seed germination.
If the rain forecast fails to produce rain, gently spray the area with water, keeping the area moist until the seed germinates. Seed will not germinate without the water, and won’t sprout if the seed dries out after once been watered, then left to dry out.
Baby blue eyes make a wonderful cover crop for our spring bulbs, blooming at the same time in spring. Imagine a garden full of golden/yellow daffodils emerging from a carpet of baby blue flowers. Stop by our Solano Stroll booth, on the SW corner of Solano and Ensenada, and pick up your seeds.