I do a fair amount of habitat restoration work in California. This mostly consists of weeding, watering, maintenance, and some transplanting (of plants grown by other members of the group).

I'd like to grow some native stuff at home so that I can transplant it in the winter (when it rains again). I already have established some silver lupine seedlings, and have high hopes with some california poppy germination.

But the thing I'm really excited about is the grasses. I've been gathering seed for Purple needlegrass, Foothill needlegrass, and Melica Californica. I have a tube tray for easy transplanting.

This is a bit early to start these grasses, but I also don't have full sunlight, so they'll probably be of the right size by winter.

I planted some of these seeds a week ago, and another (small) batch a few days ago, keeping the soil moist. So far there is no visible change. It's likely that I need to wait longer, and it's possible that my first small batch of seeds (picked on May 7, which is a bit early) were mostly nonviable, but I have enough access to seeds and time to try different things, see what works, and apply that to the bulk of the seeds.

Are there things I should be doing to help these grasses germinate? Unfortunately I can't find much in the way of resources for growing these. I've heard of stratification but I'm not sure it applies here. I've been told they shouldn't take long to germinate, but knowing average germination times should be useful. In particular I'm really interested in growing lots of purple needlegrass just because I love it, but I'm looking for advice for all three of these grasses.


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