The Method

This post is dedicated to reporting the exact procedure we are going through to prepare the seed for optimal survival. 

Our method of seed preparation and dissemination directly correlates with our native seed cycles. Typically seeds will be sown via birds or wind and waterways. In most cases the seed is barely covered to allow great air flow, and the quickest spring germination compared to being buried in colder levels of the soil. With biomimicry in order, our seed mix is designed to keep the seeds adequetly protected.

Majority of the species we are seeding require or greatly benefit from cold stratification (generally 60 – 90 days under 41 degrees F {winter}). We are broadcasting tree seed from November 15 to February 15. This List of Species will be separated into mixes that have been prepared for archetypical growing conditions (riparian, semi-arid…) across  our 40 hectare (100 acre) test site (as well as other parcels). We have created a subtropical dryland mix, riparian mix, orchard mix, shade-tolerant mix, handicap mix (invasive species), main mix, and a nut grove seed mix. These mixes are each prepared in five gallon buckets.

Ounce we have all our tree seed seperated into one or more mixes, we scarify all hard-coated seeds for one thirty minutes to an hour with hot water: 60 degrees celsius (140 F). This is done to soften and barely expand the hard seed coats. Which will then immediately be scarified with sand to help bind and lock onto the inoculaum throughout winter. Then we quickly drain the water, leaving a little moisture to help spread the dry ingredients and begin cold/moist stratification (winter conditions).

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INGREDIENTS:

Rain Water – presence of trace amounts of hydrogen peroxide in rain water aid the seeds’ survival rates.

Clay sub-soil/Pure Clay – locks together the entire mix as much as possible, while holding onto the microbial spores until the seeds germination in spring.

Coconut coir – a fluffy filler, which also makes easy mixing and handling within buckets.

Clean Sand – scarification tool, as well as a filler to dilute the tree seed, and help spread smaller seeds

Rock dust (azomite) – microbial surface area and food for the microbes.

Azospirillum brasilense – nitrogen fixing bacteria. (when appropriate)

Bradyrhizobium sp. (vigna) – nitrogen fixing bacteria. (when app.)

Bradyrhizobium japonicum – nitrogen fixing bacteria. (when app.)

Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar phaseoli – nitrogen fixing bacteria. (when app.)

Rhizobium leguminosarum biovar viceae – nitrogen fixing bacteria. (when app.)

Endomycorrhizal fungi – (when app.)

Ectomycorrhizal fungi – (when app.)

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Now, with drained and softened tree seeds we add in sand to perform the second round of scarification. With the hot water scarification, the sand is meant to scratch up the softened outer seed. Which then allows valleys and canyons for the inoculants to get trapped and overwinter properly. We vigorously mix up the sand and seed until clear scratches and knicks can be seen on the hardest of seeds (pine, olive…). Our next step is to evenly add in all of the inoculants. Rock dust, coconut coir and clay are introduced at the end to collectively posture as a coat over the inoculated seed, forming somewhat of a traditional seed ball mixture.

NOTE: Land surface is a big factor when determining ingredient proportions. Example: for bare ground, it is very import to have mostly clay. Since there will be far less organic matter (dead or alive) to hold moisture/humidity.

 

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