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To provide native plants for restoration, the nurseries have to follow a unique cycle that is dictated by the natural cycles in the Golden Gate National Parks. July marks a busy time of year for the nurseries. Not only are restoration managers submitting requests for next year's restoration project plants, we're also very busy transplanting and caring for the plants that are due to be planted with this winter’s rains.
Because we rely on the park to provide our plant materials and seeds, the nursery staff has to be in tune with what's ripe and ready for collection in the field. Collection happens during much of the year, especially when restoration managers submit their requests mid-summer. After cleaning, seeds usually have some sort of pregermination treatment to mimic what might happen to them in nature; seeds are refrigerated (or stratified) to mimic winter, or the seed coat is scored in some way (scarified) to mimic wildlife or other interactions in nature.
Spring is when seeds are sown onto flats (trays with holes in the bottom) and babied in our misthouses or greenhouses. Once these seeds grow into young seedlings, it's time to transplant them into a larger pot and allow them to mature in our shadehouse until they get planted out into the field this winter...and here's where transplantapalooza comes in!
It’s the high season for transplanting and though it can be somewhat tedious and delicate work at times, transplanting is a very satisfying activity. There's something so incredible about handling these young seedlings and putting them into the pot that will eventually carry them out into the restoration sites in the parks! This year, a total of 141,775 plants have been requested—now, that’s a lot of transplanting that needs to be done!
We need all the help we can get! So, if you're ready to get your hands dirty at one of the nurseries and try your hand at transplanting, join us at one of our drop-in volunteer programs where this activity is sure to be on the agenda! Visit the nursery web page or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on upcoming programs!
Hope to see you soon!