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Seed Starting and Nature

Posts: 19
Location: North Central Ohio
hugelkultur dog urban
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Nature drops all of its seeds onto the ground in the fall. It doesn't "plant" them, it just drops them, right? So a lima bean plant for example or corn or whatever, in nature, is going to drop its seed in the fall, right? So why in my backyard permaculture garden can't I drop my seeds in the fall? Or better yet, chop and drop my plants that I have let go to seed in the fall and be done? Stupid question I suspect, but I don't know the answer...Thanks!
Posts: 1703
Location: Western Washington
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Interesting question Jonathan,

I think that like so many thing this is going to depend on a couple factors. Primarily in my mind which seed you are talking about. If i was thinking of doing this I would be more likely to do it with small hard seeds like mustards than with large ones like Corn and Squash. Mice love corn and squash seeds - they'll eat them any time of the year - but in winter when theirs no food around I'm sure they'd be the first in line to eat your next years crop. Theirs also mold to consider. I know from experience than corn and squashes will both mold in the ground if they are planted in cold, dark, damp conditions. And weed pressure. Just letting a field go you may have the volunteers you want but they will likely have to compete. Planting in a deliberate time and space in spring gives plants a good one up on many natural forces. Perhaps it is because these crops are so heavily domesticated that we in turn need to tend to them and give them a bit of a leg up. These plants don't occur in nature they are man made and have been influenced by humans over millennia. That said, many crops will volunteer them selves from seed - so I'm sure this could be done with many of them. By no means am I the definitive authority on what is or is not possible.
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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In nature, one flower may drop hundreds of seeds. If one grows in that spot, the flower has served its purpose.
As was pointed out, birds, weather, and other forces of nature will keep the majority from sprouting.

Just as a man 'shoots' millions of sperm, twins are a rarity.

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