To save money on gardening, start plants from seed

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Timing is important and differs by species. Perennial seed divides into two basic types, says Rochelle Bartolomei, native plant program manager at Pope Farm Nursery in Gaithersburg, Md. Spring flowering perennials should have their seed sown by midsummer, in a seed tray outdoors in a protected site. Examples include bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), and woodland phlox (Phlox divaricata). The seeds will lie dormant through the fall and winter and germinate the following spring. Keep the seed mix moist but not wet, and protect the trays against marauding animals.

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