I'm interested in planting Echium vulgare around my area in a larger quantity, and was leaning toward the seedball method to do so. I'm open to all tips/details in order to pull this off with success.(I live in a coastal zone 9 area with very mild winters and warm dry summers) Thanks!
Seed Balls would work great.
If you get the right time of year, you can broadcast the seeds, then mow the weeds to act as mulch.
I don't know what part of the world you are in, but memory tells me that this is an invasive species in some parts of North America. If you aren't living in the plants historical range, perhaps you can double check that it won't naturalize in your area and/or push out any beneficial species native to your area. Do they compete with a plant that other species rely on for food? Do they alter the soil quality so that specific native trees cannot grow (I'm thinking broom in the Pacific Northwest vs the Garry Oak trees)? I'm all for encouraging broadening the diversity of species in an area, so long as they don't risk destroying valuable or endangered ecological niches.
Another thought is that some parts of the world have strict laws against introducing certain plants they deem invasive species. If not for this, I would have my yard full of kudzu vine - so many uses, I'm so envious of you guys with a kudzu 'problem'.
You'll have to make that choice for yourself, all I can do is encourage you to make an educated choice. It's entirely possible the benefits of this plant outweigh the possible harm of naturalization. It's just something to think about before spreading your seed.
R Ranson wrote:If you aren't living in the plants historical range, perhaps you can double check that it won't naturalize in your area and/or push out any beneficial species native to your area. Do they compete with a plant that other species rely on for food?
Interesting you mention this. I was interested in the plant as bee forage since it is an incredible source in coastal Australia, and I live in a similar environment in coastal Portugal. My mother-in-law informed me that a very similar species of Echium used to grow like weeds along the entire coast- until all the locals pulled them out to cultivate their lands. It seemed like a solid decision after that.
Sounds like the perfect plant for you. It's a glad thing you have a historical precedent for it. Kuddos for you for checking.
Another option for planting would be to make a long dib or dibble (stick hand held or walking stick length, a bit more than an inch in diameter with a slightly pointed/rounded end). You make a hole in the ground with the dib, drop a few seeds in, then push the soil into the hole with your toe. Like a preindustrial, person powered seed drill.