Seeding
 Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Prairie
Reconstruction

Seeding Rates

Planting Dates

Seedbed Preparation

Seeding

Maintenance

Moving Timetable

Problem Species

 

Seeding

An area as large as two acres can be hand seeded in a few hours. Mix the seed thoroughly with sawdust, vermiculite, or some other inert material to bulk up the mix.  This makes it much easier to achieve an even distribution when seeding.  Work slowly and try to cover the ground as evenly as possible.  Always divide the seed in half and broadcast the area in two different directions.  Setting up a grid system using flags or markers will also help to get the seeds spread evenly.  Hand seeded areas should be packed or rolled firmly after seeding.

For larger areas, we usually recommend planting in three steps.  First, roll or pack your site to make a firm seedbed.  Second, plant the grass seed and the larger wildflower seeds with a Truax or similar native grass drill.  Prairie grass seeds are too fluffy to be planted with a standard agricultural grass drill or cyclone seeder.  Be sure to drill as shallowly as possible, about 1/4 inch deep.  Finally, broadcast the small wildflower seeds over the top of your drilled area.  Large areas can also be broadcast on a firm seedbed with a Vicon or similar seeder and packed after seeding.

One bushel of oats in the spring or winter wheat in the fall per acre may be used as a cover crop, especially on erodable sites.  We do not recommend using annual ryegrass as a cover crop as this plant produces a chemical which is harmful to many seedlings.  An erosion blanket that is pourous enough to allow small flower seedlings to grow through it can be used on steep slopes.