Tips for Planting Milkweed
 The green flower of Zizotes Milkweed.

The green flower of Zizotes Milkweed.

Zizotes Milkweed is a native species found in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona, and Colorado. It has a unique flower compared to other milkweeds. The pale green flowers of the Zizotes are single and close to the stem.

Planting depth: Plant 1/4 inch deep.

Preparing the seed: You can stratify the seed before planting. This involves placing the seed in a moistened coffee filter and putting in a ziploc or container and storing in the fridge for 14-30 days. However, this is typically recommended for planting up north, where temperatures reach near or below freezing for weeks at a time. In Central and South Texas we have seen success in planting without stratification. So if you want to stratify, it will not harm your planting process, but you can skip that step and just wet your seed in a coffee filter for a few days before planting to get the best germination. Then, once your seeds begin to sprout, carefully plant them about a ¼ inch below the soil and keep soil moist for 1 - 2 weeks as the seedlings grow (water less if it rains. The idea is just to keep the soil moist).

After the first two weeks, you should be able to scale back your watering to almost nothing. Monitor your plants and if long periods of no rain seem to stress your milkweeds, give them some water. Otherwise they should do fine with natural rainfall patterns.

Prepare for your plant to be eaten to the ground! Humans have a long history of trying to stop bugs from decimating our plants, but if you are planting milkweed to feed Monarch and Queen caterpillars, prepare for your milkweeds to be demolished by the little bugs. It’s ok! Milkweeds are used to this voracious munching in the wild. They are perennials and will grow back as long as it has established a good root system.

Have you seen any special visitors to your Zizotes Milkweed? Please let us know! We love to see pictures of our seed "in action"! Tag us on social media! #dkseeds, @dkseeds.

 

 

 

Douglass King Seeds
New - Seed Packets!

We are pleased to announce that we now offer our bluebonnets in seed packets and 1/4 pound amounts! A seed packet will cover about 10 square feet. A quarter pound will cover 312 square feet. 

The best time to plant bluebonnets is in the fall, anytime between September and early November. The plants will sprout then go dormant over winter and will bloom the following spring. 

Douglass King Seeds
What is Habiturf?
Habiturf

Habiturf is a native lawn grass mix, developed by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. They conducted thorough research to create a blend of native grasses that performs comparably to traditional, nonnative turf grasses. 

Interestingly, they discovered that a mixture of species performed better in plant density and foot traffic resistance than a single species planted alone would. Based on their trials, they were able to design a blend of Buffalograss, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite. The three grasses have similar growth heights and leaf structure, thus giving a uniform lawn look while providing the resilience of plant diversity. 

Why Plant Habiturf? 

There are many reasons to consider Habiturf for your yard. Lawns are the largest irrigated crop in America. With our growing awareness of the importance of conserving water, and many of us leading very busy lives, some people might want to plant Habiturf for conservation, and others for ease of management.

There is some initial investment in time and work to get a good stand of Habiturf, but once the seed bed is prepped and planted, the long term savings of time and resources will be well worth your initial work. Once established, Habiturf does not need to be mowed or fertilized and rarely watered.

Benefits

Low nutrient needs: Buffalograss, Blue Grama, and Curly Mesquite use less nutrients than nonnative grasses from more nutrient-rich zones, thus Habiturf does not need fertilizing.

Drought tolerance: Native grasses are well adapted to handle the boom and bust cycles of Texas rains, and other low-moisture areas such as Arizona, New Mexico, and Southern California. All seed needs some water to germinate and get established. But once it has grown out, Habiturf requires less regular watering that traditional turf grasses. 

Weed resistance: Plants in nature will compete against each other and some species will do better at certain times of the year, or under certain weather conditions. When one species does poorly, another species will make use of and fill in the newly opened space. This is why traditional monoculture yards are constantly having to battle weeds and why planting a mix decreases the appearance of unwanted plants — with a mix you are intentionally putting species together that compete. Some will succeed when others fail and move into any bare spaces, yet the similarity between the species will provide that lush, uniform lawn look. 

Foot traffic resistance: The benefits of a mix stated above will also provide resistance to moderate foot traffic. If one species begins to die back, one of the others will take advantage  and move in. Habiturf uses plant competition to your advantage. 


Habiturf in Action

Below are some photos of our customers' homes after planting Habiturf.

Douglass King Seeds
When is the Best Time to Plant Bluebonnets?
 Photo courtesy of Dr. Jerry Parsons. 

Photo courtesy of Dr. Jerry Parsons. 

The best time to plant bluebonnets is in the fall, which is any where between the end of August to the beginning of November. Planting in the spring results in the plants growing a certain height and stopping, then laying dormant over winter and flowering the following spring.

Planting in the fall shortens that process and will produce flowers in the following spring.

The key to successful plantings is in good seed-to-soil contact. Few seed types can be sprinkled on the ground and left on the surface and achieve measurable success. All seeds typically need adequate — but not deep — soil coverage in order to grow. The smaller the seed, the shallower it should be planted without being left on the surface. This gives the seed the dual benefits of having the shortest distance to travel to the surface while also being deep enough to retain moisture. These recommendations apply to all three of our bluebonnet varieties, the blue, maroon, and purple

If you take the time to plan your project and prepare the soil bed, you should have a wonderful display of bluebonnets come spring time. 

 

Douglass King Seeds
From the Fields - May

We produce our Texas Native seed right here in Central Texas. Here are some select shots from the field in May. 

 

From the Fields - April

We produce our Texas Native seed right here in Central Texas. Here are some select shots from the field in April. 

Spring is officially underway
 Small forbs shooting up in dry ground. However, it had received a small amount of rain the week before. 

Small forbs shooting up in dry ground. However, it had received a small amount of rain the week before. 

March is a transition month when temps are on the rise and the cool season items begin to fade away towards the end of the month. Any warm season item can be planted in March, depending on the conditions from year to year. Keep an eye out for the term "warm season" on our website and those items will do well if planted from now until early June. These seeds will begin to germinate when the nights get warmer. 

Planting tips: Try to plan your seed planting prior to a rain event.  Soil-to-seed contact is important so if you have to spread your seed with a broadcaster or by hand, make sure to run over it with a rake or some other apparatus to lightly cover the seed in the topsoil. 

Douglass King Seeds
New Product Brochures

New! We now have a section with our product brochures. We have plenty of this information on our website on the product pages -- this is just one more way to access the information to help you get the best success out of your project.

And remember, we are always a phone call away if you have any questions on which species will be best for you or what planting methods will work best. 1-888-DKSEEDS (357-3337)

Good luck on your project! 

Douglass King Seeds
Wildflower Sightings
2018-03-15 blue bonnets,ts_-5.jpg

Bluebonnets are starting to crop up all around the state. We have been seeing many blooms at our farms and on the sides of the road. 

Keep your eyes peeled, wildflower season is here! 

Planting tip: If you want to plant wildflowers to bloom next spring, plan to get them in the ground this fall. Of course, you can plant this spring and they will come up, but they might take a full cycle before they bloom. We have learned if you plant wildflowers in the fall, they will sprout up, then go dormant and when they wake up in the spring they are ready to produce many flowers. 

Douglass King Seeds
What Are Ecoregions?
Texas Map.jpg

You may see this term a lot on our website, because our Texas Certified Natives Species have been researched to see where they are best adapted to thrive.

An ecoregion is an area of land that is similar in habitat, geology, soil, and vegetation. Eco-regions are large, general groupings and there can be some variety within the region. As far as finding the right seed for your project, however, this is a great place to begin. The Texas Native seed species have the regions they perform best in listed in the region section.

Feel free to use this map as a guide as you go through our site and look at the many varieties we have to offer. 

Douglass King Seeds