Never-plowed prairie seed harvest

When implementing a plan to plant a meadow, consider this:

• Is the seed sourced from mono-cropped production fields?

• Is the seed cleaned and denuded of essential chemicals that are required for good germination?

• Is the diversity in the seed mix a true representation of a stable, functioning prairie, or just a landscape designer's wishful thinking?

 

Real meadows exist in a polyculture where the plant communities mutually support each other in germination, balance of species and good genetic diversity. Artificially reconstructed mixes often don't take into account the beautifully complex systems within a prairie, involving plants, insects, microbes, and animals. Meadows are intelligent, and species within them communicate and evolve as a single organism. Piecing together a meadow from parts (individual seeds) is like making a person from parts.

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This seed mix comes from a beautiful, never plowed, weed-free, remnant meadow. It is the prairie equivalent of an old growth forest where the plants have merged together as a sustainable community, down to the genetic level, over a period of measured in millennia.

As opposed to a monoculture harvest, these seeds have been collected using the “native harvest” technique, which means the meadow itself is harvested at an optimal time such that the mix is a "copy" of the original prairie that once covered North America. It is becoming evident that in an effort to supply “clean” seeds, free of chaff and weeds, the monoculture harvest process removes critical protective layers and ultimately leads to lower germination rates. In contrast, this “native harvest” seed is retained in hull form and plant material is left in the mix for easy planting as well as germination support. In other words, this mix is harvested in the way nature would do it herself. There is nothing artificial about it.

Expect a beautiful prairie with color and depth that only an authentic seed mix can provide.

 

DESCRIPTION:

This mix is an exact copy of the once dominant, and all but extinct, Corn Belt Plains-type prairie. It is suitable for any mesic, well-drained (even sandy) soil, with full sun exposure, and within hardiness zones of 4 to 7.

The recommended coverage is 1,000 square feet per pound.

The timing of the seed harvest is optimized to provide an ideal 50/50 balance of grasses and forbs.

Below is the list of the dominant species included in the mix:

prairie-seed-mix

Grasses: 

  • Andropogon gerardii     (big bluestem)
  • Elymus canadensis     (Canada wildrye)
  • Panicum virgatum     (switchgrass)
  • Schizachyrium scoparium     (little bluestem)
  • Sorghastrum nutans     (Indiangrass)
  • Sporobolus compositus     (composite dropseed)
  • Sporobolus heterolepis     (prairie dropseed)

 

Forbs:

  • Achillea millefolium   ‬ (common yarrow)
  • Amorpha canescens     (leadplant)
  • Artemisia frigida     (prairie sagewort)
  • Asclepias syriaca     (common milkweed)
  • Asclepias tuberosa     (butterfly milkweed)
  • Echinacea pallida     (pale purple coneflower)
  • Eryngium yuccifolium     (rattlesnake master)
  • Heliopsis helianthoides     (false sunflower)
  • Lespedeza capitata     (roundhead bush clover)
  • Monarda fistulosa     (wild bergamot, beebalm)
  • Oligoneuron rigidum     (stiff goldenrod)
  • Pycnanthemum virginianum     (Virginia mountainmint)
  • Ratibida pinnata     (yellow coneflower, grayhead coneflower)
  • Solidago altissima     (late goldenrod)
  • Verbena stricta     (blue vervain, hoary vervain)
  • Vernonia baldwinii     (Baldwin’s ironweed, western ironweed)

See ordering details HERE.

One thought on “Never-plowed prairie seed harvest”

  • Daniel L Carter

    One should keep in mind that these harvests miss species that flower early in the season and shed their seeds before harvest (and it's quite a few species, including prairie phlox, shooting stars, wood betony, paintbrush,etc.). Mixes still need to be augmented with those species to look like true prairie and provide blossoms before midsummer.

    Reply
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