One way Williams is documenting her native seed project is through social media posts. Called “Will It Grow Wednesdays,” the program features updates about what Williams has collected, how she’ll germinate seeds and the results. Other than getting the public excited about native plants, Williams is hoping that the posts will educate about the process of growing natives from seed.
“I have in the past done seed starting when I’ve worked at botanical gardens,” Williams said. “But I’d never done native plants, and I know they’re fussy. It’s a very different process to do native plants than it is domestic plants. Domestic seeds — one of the characteristics of being domestic is a reduced seed coat thickness. It makes it germinate as soon as you plant it.”
Seeds from many native plants have a thicker seed coat, which in itself makes it harder to grow. As Williams put it, native seeds often need to go through chemical and mechanical processes to successfully germinate. These processes include what they would be subjected to in nature, such as heat, cold and wetness.
After germination, Williams will be start the plants in flats, then later bumped up to larger pots. One big goal is to take native plants from seed to plug and transplant them into other natural areas of Bethania. Planted along the trails in the town, the public and the pollinators can both enjoy them.