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Ron Harland
PO Box 5
Rickreall, OR 97371
camas111@yahoo.com
 
 

How to Grow Camas

 

Choosing your site:

Camas prefers moist soil conditions such as wet meadows and prairies, depressions, moist hillsides and streamside areas.  In the wild, these areas tend to be high in silt and clay and will dry out in the summer.  If you do not have such an area in your garden, irrigation may be necessary. 

Plant your camas in an area that receives full sun to partial shade.  It is also recommended to choose a site with little competition from dense stands of live grass.

When to plant:

Optimum planting time is in the fall or early winter.  Camas seed will require 42-100 days of cold temperatures (34F-40F Degrees) under moist stratification for optimum germination.  The camas seed is highly sensitive to warm temperatures, if exposed during development it can be lethal. Soil temperatures should be cool (below 60F Degrees) and the soil should be moist. 

How to plant:

Scatter your seeds directly over the soil surface on your desired site and cover with 1-2 inches of organic mulch (sawdust works well) � this will help protect the seed from exposure to soil drying and cracking and extreme temperatures.  A minimum of 20 seeds per square foot is recommended for good seedling counts in the spring.

If planting bulbs, soil depth should be between 4-6 inches.  This depth can vary depending on the maturity of the bulb.  If for example, you decide to propagate some of your own bulbs after a year or two, you should plan on sowing them 0.5-1 inches in the ground.

Maturation:

Seedlings may take 3 years before a bloom is generated, if planting bulbs, look for the flowers to appear the following spring.  Camas flowers generally bloom from April to June.

 

 

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