I have harvested some milkweed pods last fall and want to plant them in my backyard located in downtown Toronto. What is the best way to go about it? The pods look well, they are dry and seeds can be seen among the silky fibres.
Much obliged for your quick reply.
For actually planting, it is important to note that the seeds you harvested would prefer to be planted before freeze up , probably November here. This is because the seeds need to go through “stratification”, the natural process of going through a freeze or cold cycle so they can go dormant before they warmed and activated through germination. In the absence of going through this cold period, they will most likely not germinate.
If you are thinking of planting them now for the benefit of the Monarchs , you are probably too late in the season this year to be successful. If this is your objective , I would advise you to buy plants to plant in your yard for this season.
Having said that, to answer your question on the proper steps to expect best germination results are as follows;
1). Clear area of weeds or refuse in area you wish to plant.
2). Moisten soil to soften it down to 3 inches
3). Use you finger or other implement to poke a hole 2 inches deep. Separate your holes by about 6 inches.
4). Place a couple of seeds in each hole
5). Cover over hole and pat down, then cover over with leaf litter or mulch to disguise from squirrels
6). Once the seeds germinate, you will want to thin them out to about 6″ apart.