Raising Coltsfoot
Answered by: Inge Poot
Question from: Joy Keeler
Posted on: May 28, 2002

We have a desire to use coltsfoot as part of our ground cover on steep banks, since it is the earliest bee food around here and a hardy plant. We’d use it in conjunction with other ground covers such as clover to help prevent soil erosion.

Earlier, I tried to buy seeds from Richters but they were sold out. So we are collecting our seed heads from the wild! Should we give this seed a dormant period or some other treatment to make it viable?

Can you direct us how to germinate it or should we sow it directly on the banks mixed with our other seeds? Any information you could provide would be much appreciated.

The most important rule would be to sow the seed as soon as possible, since it does not store well. If you must store it do so at cold temperatures and still expect all seeds to be dead in about 6 months! When sown, the seed germinates in 2 to 3 days at room temperature and in 7 to 12 days at cool temperatures of about 5 degrees Celsius. It would be best to sow the seed where they are to grow just before you expect rain.

At Richters we collect seed orders until late May when the seed ripens in our area and then send off all accumulated orders. We only use seed for about a months or two for current orders before discarding the left over seed and backordering any further seed orders for the next year’s harvest.

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