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Seed needed for Soil Amendment... need help finding.

 
Tim Southwell
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In sepp holzer's first book on Permaculture, he indicates when he plants a bare rooted fruit tree, he always throws down 4 seed types to aid in amending soil, building N, etc. They are Lupine, Yellow Clover, Lucerne and Broom. I need help locating Broom seed. This is the Scotch Broom, and evergreen yellow-flowering shrub fixing N. I can't find anyone in the US that sells it. Any suggestions... or alternatives? I am in MT and am wanting to secure the seed now for spring time planting efforts. The rest I can buy in bulk at www.outsidepride.com

Please advise any info / Thanks,
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Tim,

I remember Paul saying that Scotch Broom is an "invasive" plant in NW. Could you collect seeds from the wild?
 
Tim Southwell
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Thanks for the tip... I have not noted the plant on a few of my SW Montana props, but will give it a shot.
 
Miles Flansburg
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John Polk
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Here in WA, west of the Cascades, it is indeed an invasive. There's a park near Shoreline, and Scot's Broom is about the only species growing there. I think it is beautiful along the Interstate (I-5), where it is very common in the center divide.

Some say it is N fixing, while others say it isn't. It is a legume.

Seeds are available from Trees&Shrubs
$5.55 per ounce, which be a little over 2,000 seeds. They are one source who say it isn't a N-fixer.

ScotchBroom.JPG
[Thumbnail for ScotchBroom.JPG]
 
Tim Southwell
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Thanks for the insight. Here is a quick google such on N-fixation for Scotch Broom: note below...

Nitrogen fixation by scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius L.) and red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.) planted under precommercially thinned Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii (Mirb.) Franco)
http://hdl.handle.net/1957/10889

Abstract:

Red alder (Alnus rubra Bong.), scotch broom (Cytisus scoparius L.) and snowbrush (Ceanothus velutinus Dougi ) were planted under precommercially thinned Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga iuenziesil Mirb Franco) in the central Oregon Cascades. Plug grown red alder had significantly greater survival than all wildling propagules except for the second broom planting Browsing was strongly positively correlated with mortality for snowbrush Survival was somewhat correlated with Douglas-fir basal area (BA) and cover but not with available light. Nitrogen fixation in underplanted alder and broom and naturally occurring alder, broom and snowbrush was measured by acetylene reduction. Plant moisture stress (PMS) appeared to exert a stronger control on nitrogen fixation through the season than soil temperature. Nitrogen fixation did not appear to be related to available light or Douglas-fir BA or cover On single dates neither PMS nor soil temperature appeared to be related to nitrogen fixation. Averaged over the season, broom had significantly greater nitrogen fixation per unit nodule weight than alder but on a per plant basis the species were nearly equal.

Who to trust...?? All good info... Thanks for the leads. In the end, I have the Lupine, Clover and Lucerne.

Take care,
 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
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Scotch broom is an awful plant if it goes wild and it will.. it smothers out all other small native plants..it grows to 5 ft easily and much taller sometimes. It burns when green so it is also a fire hazard in large swathes like it grows all over the Santa Cruz Mts. I used to pull up the young plants in spring tie them up into bundles and use as fire starters..they are volatile little suckers. The pods explode in summer sending seeds up to 20 ft away, hard to contain.
 
Tim Southwell
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I am concerned about the invasive nature of the plant. Trying to emulate Sepp's style. At this point, I will introduce the Lupine, Lucerne and Yellow Clover to the fruit tree guild. As an alternative to the Scotch Broom, I am toying with Buck Brush, which is N-fixer that is colorful, pollinator attractor but not invasive. Or just do the first three mentioned. Perhaps Sepp's climate is slightly different to prevent invasive spread like the NW USA. That being said, I will be with him next month in Bozeman so might just ask him myself!!
 
Adrien Lapointe
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Tim Southwell wrote:In the end, I have the Lupine, Clover and Lucerne.


If you really want N-fixer bush, I would suggest sea buckthorn. On top of fixing nitrogen, it produces fruits. Note that you need male and female plants though.
 
Leila Rich
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I think Scotch broom's a sod of a thing!
I haven't seen it act as a pioneer/nurse like it's much-maligned cousin gorse: it creates a long-term, stable monoculture in my climate.
 
Jason Matthew
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I believe you would do just fine with Grow Organic soil builder seed mix. You get eight or more nitrogen fixing species. I mixed the soil builder and sod buster seed mixes in the fall and covered most of my garden area, I them munched with a thin layer of straw and got great germination. I am chomping at the bit to get going for spring.

 
Tim Southwell
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The suggestions are all very much appreciated. I think the query goes beyond just a few N-fixing additions to the main fruit tree / shrub planted to prepare a healthy guild at its feet. I wish to emulate Sepp's method... and his guilds are an example of stacking functions. Beyond the soil amendment and aiding of the fruit producer, he is also planting a variety of seeds that will be welcome edibles to mice, rabbits and deer, so that the potential damage / stress to the fruit producer is lessened. I have started to review all your indiv suggestions and look to add one or two to the Lupine, Clover and Lucerne already in use by the Master.

All the best!!!
 
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