Waiting for Spring Weather


It’s been a cold start to April here in New Jersey. We had another snowstorm the morning after Easter, and my peas, spinach, lettuce and beets have yet to be planted! In the meantime, I ordered some milkweed seeds with the intent of planting them outside for the Monarchs. On the advice of my dad who’s been planting milkweed for the past few years, I decided to try out cold-stratifying them first. Cold-stratification attempts to mimic the condition of the seeds being outside during the chilly winter months and can help with germination and breaking them out of dormancy. I ordered two types of milkweed seeds, A. Tuberosa (commonly known as Butterfly Weed) and Ascepias Incarnata (otherwise known as Swamp Milkweed). Both species have colorful blossoms, and most importantly are a food source for Monarch Caterpillars. They’re also native to the Northeastern United States, as well as many other areas of the country according to the USDA Plants Database.


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I used coffee filters to wrap the seeds in. While many people use plastic sandwich bags to store the wrapped seeds, I decided to see how some clean little 4 oz jam jars leftover from canning would work instead. I ran the coffee filters under cool water…

Coffee Filters

…..then squeezed out the excess until they were just damp. 

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