Native seeds distributed across watershed!

Jamilee Hoffman
Apr 1, 2024

Feb 2024 Seed Starting Workshop

Native plants play a critical role in the health of our watershed. They provide habitat for native species in a challenging landscape and require less care than many exotic and non-native species. Oftentimes they require less water and have deeper, more established root systems that help hold streambanks into place. Native plants also allow stormwater to seep into the ground better, and recharge groundwater. Vegetable plants play an important role in providing fresh food options in areas where access to these may be limited, as well as reconnecting people to nature and the earth.

We offered our first ever seed-starting workshop in partnership with Penn State Extension Master Gardeners  last year. We were pleased with attendance, and we realized the interest and need in the community surrounding native plants and gardening. We hosted three seed-starting workshops this year, through partnerships with Master Gardeners from both Philadelphia and Montgomery County.

We hosted the first of our native seed-starting workshops at the Juniata Golf Club on February 10. We had over twenty participants, and attendees not only learned about starting native plants from seed, but started a few native seeds themselves and took them home in recycled plastic containers. Our second free native seed starting workshop took place on February 24, in partnership with the Elkins Park Library.

Missed either of these sessions but want to learn about winter native seed starting? View the recording from last year’s session.

Here’s what’s very cool: all the seeds we gave away were harvested from our restoration sites in Montgomery County! We distributed over 200 packets of native seeds to residents of our watershed.

Seeds distributed included: Northern Blueflag Iris (Iris versicolor), Purple Coneflower (Echinacea purpurea), Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa), Common Sneezeweed (Helenium autumanle), Cardinal Flower (Lobelia cardinalis), Plains Coreopsis (Coreopsis tincturia), Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta), Common Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias incarnata), Bee Balm (Monarda fistulosa) and New York Ironweed (Vernonia Noveboracensis).

On March 23, we hosted the last of our spring seed-starting workshops about vegetable seed-starting. At this workshop, a Philadelphia Master Gardener explained the process and requirements of starting vegetable plants from seed. Attendees started several seeds in pots at the workshop and took them home.

At this workshop, we shared heirloom seeds, which are varieties that have been around for a long time, and can be saved each year and replanted to grow the same variety of plant. Vegetable varieties included 3 types of tomato, bell peppers, peas, and cucumbers. Parsley, basil, and dill seeds were also provided.

In total, over 50 people attended these workshops. Native plants play a critical role in the health of our watershed. They provide habitat for native species in a challenging landscape and require less care than many exotic and non-native species.

Oftentimes they require less water and have deeper, more established root systems that help hold streambanks into place. Native plants also allow stormwater to seep into the ground better, and recharge groundwater. Additionally, vegetable plants play an important role in providing fresh food options in areas where access to these may be limited, as well as reconnecting people to their relationship with nature and the earth.

View more photos from these workshops.

If you attended a workshop, we want to see your seed progress! Share your photos and seed-starting stories with us on social media by tagging us @ttfwatershed on Instagram and Facebook. Happy seed-starting season!

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