I'm considering buying some bulk seeds, to just be scattered across my wild meadow-like areas before first frost. I'm looking for suggestions on the best types of seeds to scatter in fall, for either an overwintering crop or a early spring sprouting. I'm doing this more for the wildlife than my own use, but I'd like to be able to wander the meadow and pull an edible or two if I wanted. So low cost seeds are helpful. I've heard that carrots seeds can be bought cheap in bulk, but are there any other species I should be considering? I might also be scattering some of this mix onto my new hugelcuture mound.
Are you thinking of scattering these as seed balls? Otherwise I am not sure that you would get great germination by simply scattering seeds on top of an existing meadow without scratching them into the soil somehow.
As to seed type, I suppose it depends what kind of wildlife you want to support. Bees, birds, deer, or ? Also what you already have growing in the meadow and whether it is wet, dry, occasionally mowed, etc.
I would think a mix of species would be ideal. I would be inclined toward perennials. Clover, alfalfa or trefoil might be good in that mix as they would be perennial, support grazing critters as well as pollinators, and probably improve your soil when they die back in winter. If it was my meadow I would be adding medicinal herbs and tea plants, although that would include things that some people would consider weedy, like dandelion, comfrey, nettle, yarrow and mullein. The acceptability of these might vary according to your situation - might not go over so well in a yard in town, maybe fine in the country. Personally I find them all very useful and essential herbs. Depending where you are it may be not too late in the season to gather seeds of many of these, which would keep your costs down even more.
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I've tried a number of different things, and I always end up with a mix. Clover is lovely especially if you have any disturbed areas, but it's not cheap at all, so usually just include a little bit in my mix. Carrot is not an option here because we have too many wild carrot-family and look-alikes, some of which are toxic/poisonous (yes, including genuine hemlock). I don't want to fall into the trap of assuming stuff is carrot that I find out in my woods. What has worked best for me (especially if you want a little food) is good old-fashioned purple-topped turnips, which grow through the winter, take off in the spring, and although many go to seed, enough do not that I am sometimes at risk following too closely behind my brother-in-law's brush hog as it spits topped turnips (that sort of grow on the surface of the soil, not buried in it) out the back of the brush hog at a high rate of speed. I've also had pretty good luck with mustard seeds, not a lot but a small quantity mixed in. Mustard plants are pretty distinctive and easy to find even in the weeds.
Creighton Samuels wrote:I bought a mix with Rye, Oats, Winter Pea, Bolsena Clover, Chicory, Rape, Daikon Radish & Sugar Beets. 20 lbs of this mix cost me $80. I never did find any bulk carrot seeds.
I buy bulk food and use it for seed. This is by far the least expensive way that I've found so far. I get most of my bulk seed/food from Azure Standard.
Organic rye: $0.65/lb in a 25 lb bag. I just tossed them out last fall and got a good crop this year.
Whole oats with hulls for animal feed: $0.55/lb in a 30 lb bag (other types a little more, but not much). Same as the rye. Good growth.
Whole green peas: $0.88/lb in a 25 lb bag
Crimson clover seeds: $1.80/lb in a 50 lb bag. This one is a favorite. The flowers are an intense, bright red.
There is more info on their web site on other things like wheat, millet, flax, milo, etc.. You may not find everything on your list but the cost is much less this way.
If you can't find it in the food category, look for sprouting seeds in bulk. They are more expensive (example being wheat for eating and wheat for sprouting) but seem to be less expensive than the exact same thing labeled for growing.
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