Now I can understand not mowing the sides of the road till the bluebonnets are gone, they make the sides look beautiful, but I do not understand why people are not allowed to mow their own yard. As a rule of thumb, when the dead brown foliage offsets the floral color display, the area can be mowed. You MUST realize that this is a new and sophisticated technique of beautifying a dull, brown bermuda grass lawn -- NOT a technique of insuring a bluebonnet … The seeds popped, and it looks like I now have a stand of bluebonnets that is establishing itself– next year’s display will be much larger, it seems. “I want people to go to the cemetery and look at it,” Moss said. You can let the seeds reseed on their own (a bunch will anyway, as long as you don’t mow). The fall cutting greatly benefits the spring wildflowers, Markwardt said. Thanks! I cut the blue going the long way. Texas has several (5 or 6) varieties of bluebonnet, all considered the state flower. Mysterious Orange Ball Shaped Growths In My Bluebonnet Patch - I found odd an looking orange, ball-shaped growth spread out in a largish patch in my bluebonnet patch this morning.… Q. Mowing at just the right times enhances wildflower and native vegetation growth. A little info about bluebonnets: many varieties can (and do) grow in other states, they're just called lupines. You can plant your seeds between September and mid-December, but for the best results, make sure to get them in the ground by mid-November. And mowing right now could hamper bluebonnets from returning in the future, he said. You can plant your seeds between September and mid-December, but for the best results, make sure to get them in the ground by mid-November. While I can cut all of the bluebonnets I want to bring inside, I limit myself to just one or two arrangements each spring so there will be plenty of bluebonnet seeds outside for next year's flowers. A winter mow helps minimize the “water takers” such as grasses, thistles, and other weeds … If you can wait sow the seeds after a good rain. And bees and butterflies will thank you. The bluebonnet is the official state flower of Texas, so you would think it would be protected. Even if you can't make the festival, keep an eye on the website for the best bluebonnet bets. I am no gardener whatsoever so last yr when my bluebonnets pods were still green. The best wildflower months in Central Texas are March, April, and May, though, in some areas, blooms can be found all summer long. This will help spread seeds and cut down on unwanted weeds and grass. Look for Lupinis and see which varieties might grow with a place that has snow cover in winter. Subsequently, question is, do bluebonnets reseed themselves? (I’m trying to post a picture, but I accidentally clicked the wrong one in my files, erased it, and tried to add the right one instead… but it won’t let me. By 1934, department rules delayed all mowing, unless essential for safety, until spring and early summer wildflower seasons were over. It’s best if you have a few bare spots. Information about bluebonnets is frequently requested. Seeds sown naturally take two to three years to germinate. Reseeding Landscape Plants By mowing after the seeds have matured, you allow the plants to reseed themselves for next year. However, mowing and seeding is all Markwardt and the TxDOT vegetation team can do to encourage a great wildflower season. Sunset at Berry Springs Park and Preserve in Georgetown, TX (Credit: Tyler Malone, The Second Shooter). Here’s my bluebonnet patch in the front yard. When To Mow Bluebonnets - At what stage can we mow the bluebonnets and be sure … I’ve gotten a lot of querries about when to mow bluebonnets. The tan, fuzzy pods turn brown, fall off and seeds pop out to spread. Cut the bluebonnets in the morning. Over his 30 years of experience with TxDOT, Markwardt has learned to set aside areas that should not be mowed until after seeding, usually in early summer. Really appreciate you taking the time to read and share your photos. Next, plant your seeds on a lightly roughened soil surface. “I bet we’re going to have a beautiful yellow crop of flowers,” he predicted. Beside each farm road, interstate, and route. At this point in the season, the bluebonnets will be done flowering, and the petals will start to dry and drop. Subsequently, question is, do bluebonnets reseed themselves? Have some respect! Texas has 5 state flowers, all bluebonnet,s or all species of lupinus, more precisely. You can enjoy these bluebonnets while playing soccer, volleyball, disc golf, hiking or having a picnic with your family and friends! To release their seeds, bluebonnets pop open with a little twist. The most common (found in the hill country) is Lupinus texensis. An Easter table is so special it merits one of this year's bluebonnet bouquets. Managing wildflower mowing takes great restraint, a practice TxDOT has been following since the 1930s when a memo circulated instructing crews not to cut the wildflowers. Native plants use less water and require less care (in fact, fertilizing bluebonnets results in more leaves than blooms). Thank you glad you liked them feel free to share. Let’s hope they survive the work that’s going on in my yard right now…it’ll be interesting to see how another mild winter affects our spring bluebonnet show. A good strategy is revisiting places where you previously found flowers. The question is asked so often of the State Highway Patrol, which has a standardized statement that it faxes to people advising that it is perfectly legal to pick bluebonnets. Use a high cut to avoid the low-lying bluebonnet clusters. To encourage more bluebonnets in a field, it’s important to wait until at least half the pods have turned tan before mowing. We recommend one of these managed WordPress platforms: We are all about Austin: the vibe, the people and the uniqueness of the city. These and similar plants can be cut to the ground after the first frost and interplanted with bluebonnet transplants. ... You can buy bluebonnet transplants at local garden centers (I found some at H-E-B, a great resource for inexpensive herbs). Same here! Despite the bedraggled look, that is not the time to mow. *** We always have unique content on the Austinot, and we love to give things away. How to Cut Bluebonnets. Toward the end of the beloved “wildflower season,” the bluebonnets form a seedpod that eventually pops open to release seeds. Difficulty: Moderately Easy. Idk if that’s the way to do it but it worked for me. Plants mashed before they go to seed will not reproduce. Jodie McGregor, a Sydney-based florist, recommends pruning your bouquet to remove wilting or bruised flowers and leaves. I have seen numerous locations where people have plopped down for photos in Bluebonnet patches and mashed dozens of plants. It’s where we give you a recap of our best articles and give stuff away. Q. Well, if you live in Washington County, Texas, the time is now. “Go check out the cemetery. Got it… this was JUST as the display was starting to bloom! This year is the perfect year for the bluebonnets.” Watkins said the bluebonnet seeds are not mature yet, adding the lifecycle of a bluebonnet is 6-8 weeks. Retweet to enter! Bluebonnets grown in a flower bed can be also allowed to reseed themselves right into the garden, and then you can pull up and compost the old plants. The flowers need to go to seed first, a natural process that can be disrupted with disastrous results if the roadways are mowed too early. Bluebonnets, as wildflowers, need to have their seeds spread along the sides of the road, in fields, and in other areas to grow. ... First, you’re going to want to mow the vegetation to 6-8 inches and rake up the thatch. Isn’t our state flower gorgeous? By mowing after the seeds have matured, you allow the plants to reseed themselves for next year.Bluebonnets grown in a flower bed can be also allowed to reseed themselves right into the garden, and then you can … You can safely store mature seeds in your refrigerator. “How much and when.”. If it is a large area, it should be mowed to a height of 4-6 inches. By the way, why do you mow them down? “White Rock”, from which our part of Dallas gets its name!). Don’t cut back the bluebonnets or mow until the seed cases are brown and you can hear the seeds ratttling inside. You can buy bluebonnet transplants at local garden centers (I found some at H-E-B, a great resource for inexpensive herbs). Keep little ones and pets from putting plants in their mouth. After mowing rake any loose grass and thatch. I cut the white going the short way across the felt. If most of the pods have opened and curled up, it is time to mow. … Texas Bluebonnets need Texas weather to grow, bloom and come back each year. And no it is not illegal to mow or pick them. Also, it’s important to be courteous and take care of the flowers so that all Texans can enjoy them. Plan to plant again the following year…and repeat. Bluebonnets are annual plants, and reseed themselves to come back the following year. Discover Austin Texas! For the best chances of a bluebonnet meadow you can be proud of, follow these tips: * In North Texas, plant mid-September to mid-October for best results. Bluebonnets are toxic to humans and animals. Give them plenty of sunlight, water when dry and just leave them alone. If you live somewhere other than Brenham, you can ldetermine when to mow them by looking at the seed pods of your bluebonnets. Let’s see your bluebonnets! The only real encouragement you can give them is with your lawn mower. If nature is too slow, either freeze harvested seeds before dousing with boiling water or soak them in water overnight before planting. If you live somewhere other than Brenham, you can ldetermine when to mow them by looking at the seed pods of your bluebonnets. Bluebonnets also make a great companion plants for summer blooming perennials such as lantana, mealy cup sage, autumn sage, and Michalmas daisy. Thank you very much, I will not get over it. Typically a height of 4 to 6 inches is suggested for the plants. The bluebonnets can be seen far and wide. The Bluebonnet is a symbol of Texas because the bluebonnet only grows in Texas. For the best chances of a bluebonnet meadow you can be proud of, follow these tips: * In North Texas, plant mid-September to mid-October for best results. A: Once your wildflowers have finished blooming, you can cut them to the ground (or leave them standing if you don’t mind the way they look). Sorry about that. Bluebonnets set against old tractor in Bolivar Peninsula, TX (Credit: Rebecca Belcher Photography), Would you believe this photo was taken on William Cannon, a heavily traveled urban thoroughfare in Austin? That will give you your answer. Bluebonnet seeds should be sown in the fall, after the first rain. * Bluebonnets like full sun. The only real encouragement you can give them is with your lawn mower. Due to heavy and fast-moving traffic this bluebonnet spot can be tricky to find and pose in, so be extra careful here! You know, like CDs, event tickets and other cool stuff. While wildflowers such as the bluebonnet are beautiful in bloom, once their color fades and the plants die back, they aren’t as attractive. Thereof, is it illegal to mow over bluebonnets? Seeds can be broadcast over undisturbed soil. Thanks to Lady Bird Johnson’s efforts to beautify the state’s highways, generations of Texans have grown up with a shared rite of passage, taking the family portrait in fields full of the state flower. No… I had a HECK of a nice show in that spot! Use a high cut to avoid the low-lying bluebonnet clusters. A winter mow helps minimize the “water takers” such as grasses, thistles, and other weeds competing for spring moisture. In some areas along the major roadways, mowing the medians cannot be done until the last of the wildflowers bloom. Mowing and planting seeds to encourage wildflower growth along state highways, such as Texas 16, have been part of Texas Department of Transportation policy since the 1930s. Annual mowing aids in seed dispersal and reduces competition of unwanted weeds and grasses. “I want people to go to the cemetery and look at it,” Moss said. Mowing Standards 1. Yes, you can! Mowing. I’ve gotten a lot of querries about when to mow bluebonnets. Each strip should be 1.25 inches wide. To encourage more bluebonnets in a field, it’s important to wait until at least half the pods have turned tan before mowing. I cut the white going the short way across the felt. These stretches become habitat for a number of species, including ground-nesting birds, small mammals, and pollinators — particularly monarch butterflies, which migrate through the state. As a rule of thumb, when the dead brown foliage offsets the floral color display, the area can be mowed. Big fields have a continuous cycle of germinating seeds from many years. Don’t cut back the bluebonnets or mow until the seed cases are brown and you can hear the seeds ratttling inside. Yes, depending on where you are, you must be careful of snakes and other creatures lurking about. (And I’ve made a note to self: They’re not weeds, so don’t pull them up accidentally a la last year.). Bluebonnets produce seeds in pods in June, but the seeds can take until July to dry out and pop off the dead stalks to sow themselves. Just how long they last and how spectacular their blooms become depends on the preceding winter’s rain and cold. I always get sad when they mow their lawns and just destroy all the wildflowers : Share your photo in a comment and tell me where you found your flowers. Step 3: Cut a strip of white felt and a strip of blue felt. Adding these annuals to your landscape is easy and beneficial. * Bluebonnets like full sun. We've partnered with Blue Starlite Drive-In Cinema (, We’ve all struggled throughout the pandemic including Austin musicians who have certainly taken a hit physically, m…, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center’s bluebonnet areas, https://leahruns100.com/2017/01/30/texas-bluebonnets-already-signal-spring/, How Austin Musicians Are Riding Out the Pandemic with Creativity, Must See Socially Distant Drive-Through Holiday Light Spectaculars, The Ultimate Guide to Texas Wines for the Holiday Season, 7 of the Best Chocolate Chip Cookies in Austin. Each strip should be 1.25 inches wide. Making those decisions is Dennis Markwardt, who has been director of Vegetation Management for the department for the past 20 years. But there’s a little bit of topsoil that hasn’t totally washed away, just enough for very tough natives… like bluebonnets… to survive, and boy did they! Toward the end of the beloved “wildflower season,” the bluebonnets form a seedpod that eventually pops open to release seeds. Not sure why that’s the case. I just cut the pod open and planted them. Those are adorable! Try to open up some bare areas as well to allow the seeds to make contact with the soil. Flowering beauties, bluebonnets (Lupinus spp.) At this point in the season, the bluebonnets will be done flowering, and the petals will start to dry and drop. But then, not everyone is good at everything. There is actually no law that prohibits picking bluebonnets in Texas, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety. The most common (found in the hill country) is Lupinus texensis. Filed Under: Activities, Day Trips, Discoveries. If you can wait sow the seeds after a good rain. I'm a Texas nerd, lol .. and LOVE my bluebonnets :-) Reply Delete Some will be a bit more spread out, as those are the seeds that flew a good distance when the pods burst open! Select flowers that are just starting to open their buds. If you live somewhere other than Brenham, you can ldetermine when to mow them by looking at the seed pods of your bluebonnets. We’ll respond if you comment. It is illegal in Texas to walk on a highway or highway shoulder. “Go check out the cemetery. I cut the blue going the long way. Texas Bluebonnets need Texas weather to grow, bloom and come back each year. Find that spot in your yard and mow the grass really low. Annual mowing aids in seed dispersal and reduces competition of unwanted weeds and grasses. But this is the 1st yr I’ve had so many come out that I planted last yr wih the seed still green. Watch out for bees. Good seed to soil contact is essential. That junk is all through our yard and has even broken jackhammers (it’s a solid deposit of calcium carbonate, a.k.a. Go to bluebonnettrail.org for weekly photos to plan the best time to go looking for bluebonnets. Every year gets better! You can find that here: https://leahruns100.com/2017/01/30/texas-bluebonnets-already-signal-spring/. This will help spread seeds and cut down on unwanted weeds and grass. The pictures are not coming up with the comment. Fresh Cut Flower Pruning. The rest is up to Mother Nature. Small areas can be sown by hand or a mechanical hand device. The secret to making those two chores work together is timing. Bluebonnets prefer sunny, well-drained areas. Typically a height of 4 to 6 inches is suggested for the plants. Bluebonnets can be cut and displayed in a vase as well. If most of the pods have opened and curled up, it is time to mow. Scarification–the botanical term for breaking open tough seed pods–speeds up the process. While wildflowers such as the bluebonnet are beautiful in bloom, once their color fades and the plants die back, they aren’t as attractive. Pods turn yellow or brown, and start to dry upon reaching maturity. Copyright ©2020 101 Highland Lakes After mowing rake any loose grass and thatch. Regarding mowing, I’d say, “Leave your flowers be till the seeds break free.” Those seed pods will open naturally, letting the seed out. PLEASE find a spot on the edge of the patch rather than the middle. Leave the area undisturbed all winter —no mowing. Get over it. There’s an approximate two- to four-week window every March and April for catching sight of these wildflowers. April 3, 2015 by Leah Nyfeler 19 Comments, Bluebonnets in bloom at Pace Bend Park, Spicewood, TX (Credit: Jeff Cohen, Moonshine Images). Would you believe I spotted a bluebonnet poking up in my yard this weekend?!? Get to know us! Nice! The flowers need to go to seed first, a natural process that can be disrupted with disastrous results if the roadways are mowed too early. (Credit: Dave Pedley, davep photography). Look around, do you see any lupinis growing in yards or in fields. Drive thoughtfully – park legally and carefully re-enter traffic. Interested? “That’s one of the great things about Texas: You get great shows,” Markwardt said. To increase bluebonnet germination rate, which can … Well, if you live in Washington County, Texas, the time is now. The bluebonnets can be seen far and wide. Look for Lupinis and see which varieties might grow with a place that has snow cover in winter. Here are three websites to check that give wildflower bloom updates: wildflower sightings.org, bluebonnetlove.com and wildflower haven.com. I'm a Texas nerd, lol .. and LOVE my bluebonnets … Bluebonnets, as wildflowers, need to have their seeds spread along the sides of the road, in fields, and in other areas to grow. Keep reading to learn the dos and don’ts of picking bluebonnets. They reluctantly agreed…but only after convincing the HOA to let them keep the plants that were neatly contained within their garden beds. Do you run a blog of your own? Leave the area undisturbed all winter —no mowing. “It still depends on rainfall,” he said. Bluebonnets make great container plants. Large areas require a seed drill or other mechanical means that can … ... First, you’re going to want to mow the vegetation to 6-8 inches and rake up the thatch. Even if you can't make the festival, keep an eye on the website for the best bluebonnet bets. I was able to just trace the width of the ruler, plus a smidge more. See more ideas about Blue bonnets, Art, Painting. Heck, we’ll probably invite you to come and hang out with us. Once you cut the seed heads off, you can leave them on the ground. Science Mills open longer for the holiday season, IN THE GARDEN: December duties and indoor gardening, Take a virtual tour of Texas White House at LBJ national park. Bluebonnets also make a great companion plants for summer blooming perennials such as lantana, mealy cup sage, autumn sage, and Michalmas daisy. 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