- Hassle-free stratification: Some perennial seeds remain dormant until after they experience the cold temperatures of winter. This need for cold to break a seed's dormancy is called stratification, and it prevents seeds from germinating at the wrong time. Take advantage of nature's process by sowing in the fall, or mimic winter conditions by putting moistened soil/media and seeds in a sealed plastic bag in the refrigerator for 6 week before sowing them.
- Earlier blooms and larger plants: Perennials live for more than two years and can take several years to get to their mature size. By sowing perennial seeds in the fall, plants will be more mature the following spring, allowing many types to flower their first growing season.
- Carefree moisture management: Most regions have winter rain and/or snow, providing essential moisture at a time when most of us don't think to water. Cool weather also reduces the need to water as frequently.
- Control weeds with ease: Cool weather slows weed germination and growth, making your nicely prepped and planted garden area easier to maintain.
Great perennial varieties for planting from seed in the fall:
Butterfly Flower, Milkweed - several varieties
Echinacea, Purple Coneflower
Gaillardia, Purple Goblin
Rudbeckia, Indian Summer
*Don't forget Texas Bluebonnets - although they are technically biennials and not perennials, bluebonnet seeds need to be planted in the fall for blooming in the spring.
- Curtis Jones, Botanical Interests