All Souls Memorial Seed Packet Planting Guide
Those who were present at the October 28, 2012 “Remembering All Souls” service took home a packet of wildflower seeds. The intention was to create a small flower garden in memory of departed loved ones. This practice was modeled after one observed for more than 20 years on All Souls Day and Memorial Day weekend at Genesis Farm, an earth-literacy learning center in Blairstown NJ. Here are the planting instructions:
Wildflower Planting Guide
This wildflower mixture has been carefully selected and blended from wildflower species chosen to produce a broad spectrum of color in your region. With the right planning, planting and care, your wildflowers will easily germinate and adapt to many climactic and soil conditions. We hope you will greatly enjoy the many colors from your wildflower garden.
Preparing the Soil
Soil preparation is a key step because seed/soil contact is vital for seed germination and the healthy rooting of seedlings. It is also the first line of defense against dormant weed seeds that are present in topsoil. In areas of past weed infestation, water the area several times over a two to three-week period to encourage dormant weed seed germination. After several weeks, either spray with a short-acting, non-selective herbicide, or remove weeds by hand. Wait one or two weeks before planting wildflower seed. If your planting area is relatively free of weeds, cultivate your soil the same way as any garden planting.
Rake your garden area to loosen the top layer of soil and to level your seedbed. You may hand broadcast the seed as it comes from the package. However, to ensure more even coverage, it is easier to mix with sand and broadcast. Plant at the recommended rate of 1 lb per 2,500 ft2. (The contents of your memorial seed package cover approximately 13 ft2). After seeding, rake lightly to barely cover the seed. Pack lightly or roll to firm seed contact to soil. Important: Do not cover seeds too deeply. Keep moist until plants are established. In poor soil, add a good organic fertilizer (5–10–10) at the rate of 1 lb per 200 ft2. (1 oz per 13 ft2).
Pull more aggressive weeds to prevent competition. Water thoroughly to prolong the blooming season. The second year, you may consider supplementing the site with some new seed in order to firmly establish the permanence of the planting and suppress weed growth.
Moisture and temperature help to determine when a variety blooms during the growing season. The annuals will bloom the first year. Most will reseed to ensure next year’s blooms. The biennials and perennials will start blooming the second year.
Mow to a height of 4–6 in. after the growing season. The cut material may be removed, but avoid removing opened seed heads or pods.