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Help me understand why this didn't grow.

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by WHIPPLE5.7, Jun 16, 2009.

  1. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    This is my first year hydroseeding and I have had extremely good success with what I've sprayed so far. My formula is to spead all the fert. by means of broadcast spreader and about 25% of my seed by spreader as well. I pretty much run the same fert.(18-18)and have had great results. The only thing I change is how much fert. I put down based upon how much water the area is going to be recieving and how often. On areas where its for something like erosion control I tend to use about 1/2 the fert. as I would with a yard that gets watered. As stated before my success has been high until now. A guy wanted me to put wild flower seed thru my machine so I asked him if it was going to be getting any water. He said no. I asked him if he knew how much if any fert. should be put down. He said the same amout as a lawn. I ended up using about less fert. because it was not going to be getting water other than rain. On the day I did it he said it was $3k worth of seed which made me nervous. Now I've been checking on it and its dead as a door nail. Help me figure it out. He hasn't said anything as I don't warranty this stuff but I'm curious why it didn't grow.
  2. Think Green

    Think Green LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,746

    It is to my understanding that wild flower seeds need to undergo a dormant period before sowing. It is hard to say not knowing where the seed came from nor is it fair to say that the seed was good to begin with. However, all wildflower seeds that we sow are somewhat incorporated within the top 1 inch of the soil and raked over, just as grass seeds. In nature, seeds will fall to the soil below and undergo their dormant period. The seeds usually infultrate into the subsoil where they can go through the natural process of dormacy. Sediment naturally covers the seeds, like leaves, silt, etc. so this to me is something that is hard to create by spraying the seeds on top of the soil, unless they were covered by a thick nutrient rich, water retentive layer of material.
    Did anything come up at all? Any type of dicots at all? If not, then it would seem that the seeds could have washed away or would have been devoured by birds, wildlife. It could be that they didn't have time to naturally mature. Some wildflower seeds need to be incorporated at a deeper depth to germinate. I am guessing, so it is hard to tell!!

    We sow wildflower seeds in tilled garden beds during the fall, and by spring, they are germinating. One thing to consider is the fert. Seeds need a little kick to get them started, but after they germinate, the roots will take what they need from the subsoil. then periodical feeding is all that is needed. The wildflower's that grow wild here in Arkansas just come up in the ditches and roadsides of the most baron lands imagionable.
    Good Luck!
  3. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    It is a whole ecosystem thing. Barren dried soil , crusted over and hydrophobic - is a lot different -than well rotted leaves and grasses over decades of accumulation.

    What were the species and what is their native habitat?

    IMO - The whole idea of native wildflowers and/or Prairie Grasses is foolish if you do not provide the proper habitat.
    NPK - is your biggest question!??!! Wild plants do not thrive on NPK...

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