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Did I just do a really stupid thing? Combining gypsum, organic fertilizer and a gob of seeds  RSS feed

 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
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Hi there,
I just got zesty today an combined 2-1 gypsum to organic remineralization fert with gobs of seeds from mainly alfalfa and buckwheat to other living mulch seed packets with all the older than 2012 seeds that I had left from my gardening efforts. I mixed it all together and used my hand crank spreader I over seeded my pasture turning food forest by degree.
My thought is that the gypsum will help the clay, the re mineral fert blend will help out everybody, and the seeds need to get out there in grand numbers if any will have a chance.
But here's my question... How to make sure that any thing will take? It's hard clay soil pasture....
Do I now run around spreading nice potting soil all over to make sure someone (seeds) has a chance? Birds and drying out are my first thoughts of what could be preventing them from turning into proper plants...

I have tried broadcasting over this same pasture a couple times in the previous years with little noticeable effect. This is even after a pigs had been through. I added the other goodies hoping it will help and hoping if the birds think I just threw a lovely feast for them they'll get turned off by the other non seed additions...

Should I go around and mow down the pasture a bit to help cover some seed?

I really am not a fan of having to use these other measures but I haven't had success yet and am looking for any success.
 
Dan Boone
gardener
Posts: 1770
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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The fertilizer can't hurt but how much it will help, I dunno. My own broadcast seed experiments haven't done much except where I had bare soil from recent disturbance.

If previous broadcasts haven't done much, I'd be looking to do something strongly different this time. Some haphazard mowing sounds useful to me. A litlle mulch over the seeds to protect them and hold germination moisture, plus it knocks back the existing ground cover, giving your new seedlings more chance.
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
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Thanks for your input Dan. I was relieved to hear the rain last night so at least the rain helped the seeds find the ground instead of laying on top of the grass for the bird fest.
I'll get the lawnmower out then and make a few passes. At least the wheels can help get soil contact going... Good point about the knocking back the grass to give the seedlings a chance.
I also thought to get the broadfork out there to loosen up the soil and open some channels for seeds to fall into.... Or maybe a dethatching fork...
I appreciate your info!!!
I have a five gallon bucket of mixture left and I had thought to do the same area here in a few weeks to see once the ground warms up a bit more if there would be more takers, but maybe I'll save it for just seeding bare ground as I swale with the broadfork....
 
Peter Ellis
Posts: 1432
Location: Central New Jersey
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Taking a note from Natural Farming and seed balls, you might try mixing a little artificial grape flavoring in with the seeds and minerals. Apparently birds hate the flavor and it is useful in keeping them from going after seed balls. If it works there, it might also help with broadcast seed...
 
Carma Nykanen
Posts: 74
Location: PNW zone 7
7
chicken food preservation forest garden
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Imitation Grape flavoring - well, I'll be. I'll do that directly, Thanks Peter

I have intentions of over seeding again after a few weeks to see if I can't get more sprouting and I can add it for that application.

I do have a riding lawn mower that I can knock down the weeds. Is there anything that someone has used to drag behind the wimpy lawn mower to cut into the soil surface acting like a surface cutting tool to get more soil contact? I figure the lawn mower's tires can help squish it down. This is over old pasture....

I'm thinking anything from chains to a spiked drum ? I'm trying to stretch the imagination.... Maybe a dragged um... rake but instead of points it could be the side of a length of metal on edge... I can't explain it well. Well, maybe it's whatever I can get my hands on.
 
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