Today I started my first batch of seeds for fall nectar. Agastache, Allium, Rudbeckia, Solidago, Liatris, and Aster are all families with species that bloom between July and October. The reason I am planting now is that this particular group of seeds require stratification–a period of cold, crummy winter weather–in order to germinate. The flat pictured above is sown with Solidago speciosa, a species that not only needs stratification to germinate, but light as well; the tiny seeds are laid right on the soil surface. These flats will likely live on top of my hives, out of the way of the yard chickens, until it’s time to set them in the greenhouse in the spring.