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Old 01-14-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
ionxchange's Avatar
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Iowa
Red face Winter Sowing of Natives

Many people are out now seeding new prairies or over seeding established prairies to get more diversity. Seed can be directly broadcast in a method resembling feeding chickens. If you have only a small of seed, you can mix it with wet sand or cottonseed hulls to bulk it up and get more of an even coverage.

It is very hard to evenly spread a small amount of seed, especially those light and fluffy seeds therefore mixing with an inert material is the best way to do it. You can calibrate the coverage that your seeds will occupy by doing a false sowing. To do this get a measured volume of your material that you are going to use be it wet sand, cottonseed hulls or wet sawdust. Put it into an empty gallon ice cream container and tuck it under your arm against your body. Reach into the container with the other hand and grab a handful of the material. Start walking and slinging the seed in a sweeping motion out in front of you just like feeding chickens. After you have run out of this matrix, estimate the width and length of coverage on your site. Now thoroughly mix your seed the chosen matrix.

You can then spread your seed this winter and allow mother nature to do the stratification to break down the germination code and also all winter snows and rains to get good seed to soil contact. You can even spread the seed over 2 to 3 inches of snow. Always have the wind to your back.

Wildflower Seed Mix - Winter Wonderland
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Winter Sowing of Natives-winter-switchgrass.jpg   Winter Sowing of Natives-handful-seed.jpg  
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Old 01-15-2012, 09:04 PM   #2
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Join Date: Dec 2008

When did you take that 1st photo.... it's spectacular.
I like adding damp sand like you do. Since I've got oodles of starlings that pick me clean of any seed I broadcast.... I started winter sowing basically in the middle of blizzards. The starlings are hunkered down when it's snowing and if we get enough snow.... the seed is somewhat protected from them. It snowed about 6" a few days ago so I tossed a heavy jacket on over my bathrobe and put on some boots and ran out and started tossing grass seed in my oak savanna. They'll get most of my seed but... they won't get it all. If you've got any customers having problems with starlings... maybe you could pass that "tip" on.
Totally off topic and I'm really sorry asking since I know you've got so many customers you don't know me from Adam but.... I usually call my order in with a credit card. I'm making a conscientious effort to stop using charge cards. Can I send a check this year along with a list of seed I want?
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:00 PM   #3
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Iowa

The photo was taken in December several years ago looking over a native planting right outside our door just as the sun peaked over over our pines across the river. You may certainly send a check but make sure your order has been placed. We can send you an email with the total amount via email. Many people including me do not like using charge cards. Don't send any check until we verify what you want then we will send you the invoice.

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natives, seeding, sowing, winter

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