If you haven’t read my other threads, I’m building a house, and permaculturing up 4 acres of land in Southern Missouri. It’s very exciting, and very overwhelming. (Gardens in My Mind: the landMaison du Bricolage: the house ) A major part of my plan involves slowing down the erosion that has been slowly going on for many years. The topographical survey done in 1890 or so showed about 10 foot deeper topsoil than what is currently here, and the land was shaped differently. When it was cleared for pasture, the runoff started taking the soil with it. So as I excavate the house, and cut terraces and swales, and build ponds, I will be planting on the soil immediately, so there is never bare soil, and I’d love to outcompete some of this grass. And that’s where this thread comes in...
I am looking for quantity of etc seeds to cover the soil with as I disturb it. My visual here is people like me, who have a fit, harvest things like a 5 gallon bucket full of swisschard seeds, then forget them for a few years, then say “What am I going to do with all of these? What WAS I thinking!?” Send them to me! (I moved that 5 gallon bucket of swisschard seeds, because, hey, seeds!) (The deer here love the chard, works for me.) So what I am hoping is to find people who have harvested large amounts of things like flowers and herbs, excess vegetable seeds, etc that are tough enough to grow unattended (with all the stuff going on, I will not be taking care of these plants for a year or so,) not on the invasive plants list here (see below,) not toxic, and ideally are food for humans or animals, medicinal, or pollinator attractors.
Currently I have to use: red and white clovers (50 pound bags of seed,) Echinacea (just ordered a pound of seed,) swisschard (5 gallon bucket,) black oilseed sunflower (big bag of bird seed,) blue vervain, asst squash and melon seeds from our groceries, parsley from my last house, and asst small amounts of herbs, flowers and radishes from my last house. I’ll be planting mixed beans to see what kind of weird landraces I can make, Joseph Lofthouse style. I have good seeds I have bought in stock to do my serious planting with, but I don’t want those $$ seeds being broadcast randomly.
I would LOVE things like zinnias, cosmos, marigolds, larkspur, basil, parsley, radishes, lettuces, more chard or beets, amaranth, melons, squash... you get the idea. If it grows rowdy, and has lots of seeds and you have a bunch that you have no plans for, that are a few years old and you don't know if they’ll germinate well, that’s the kind I want :) Perennials are always best, but annuals grow faster and will cover the dirt faster, I’m up for either.
The invasive plant list here contains: Autumn Olive, Bush Honeysuckle, Callery Pear, Canada Thistle, Chinese Yam, Buckthorn, reed canary grass, Crown Vetch, Teasel, Garlic Mustard, Heavenly Bamboo, Hydrilla, Japanese Honeysuckle, Japanese Hop, Japanese Knotweed, Japanese Stiltgrass, Johnson Grass, Kudzu, Leafy Spurge, Multiflora Rose, Musk Thistle, Old World bluestem grasses, Purple Loosestrife, Reed Canary Grass, Sericea Lespedeza, Spotted Knapweed, Tall Fescue, White and Yellow Sweet Clover, Wintercreeper ( https://mdc.mo.gov/trees-plants/problem-plant-control/invasive-plants )
I may disagree with some of that (I was planning to use Crown Vetch, dammit!!) and I have some of them on the property that I love or hate, but I AM on a watershed, and do NOT wish to contaminate the land downstream of me. So none of those. I would also add to that list Wisteria, Creeping Vinca, or anything else that will eat my whole property. Zone 6 A or B (I’m kind of both) humid, Southern Missouri. Doesn’t seem to freeze enough here to winter kill things that are running amok.
Got Excess Seeds? Mail them to me!! If postage is a hardship, I can pay for some, if I’m being offered a lot of seeds by people, I’m most likely to be able to pay postage for large amounts of herbs that are tough, less likely to be able to justify small amounts of things that have less chance of making it. If you can afford to mail to me, that would be a wonderful help, as money is TIGHT here, I have no way to earn right now, all cash is outflow.
PM me if you have Got Excess Seeds!
I curtsy nicely at you all,
Some questions about this have come up in PM’s that would make more sense to explain publicly.
What I have is 4 acres of sloping pasture, that hadn’t been cut for years when I got here, and it was over 5 feet deep. I have had to cut it to try to see what’s under all that grass, which is scary in itself, as finding 3 foot drop offs, holes the size of a tractor tire, and rocks the size of basketballs with the tractor and brushcutter is not fun. I have some of it cut enough to work with, still working on the rest (my tractor got stolen, made a holy mess of my schedule.)
As I get this house built (I am doing way too much of that work myself) I’ll be moving excavation dirt uphill to counteract the erosion, filling holes, and if I can, getting terraces cut, and dirt levels adjusted. Every place I move dirt, within a day or two, I’m broadcasting seeds on it. If I have to come back through an area (trying not to backtrack, but things happen) I’ll reseed again afterwards.
In my eyes there are two types of planting going on here right now. There is my long term, real crops (currently getting in trees and berries where they will be safe from the chaos) and the stuff that is just a placeholder and dirt holder until I get back to it. Every spot of disturbed soil I have seen that is not covered immediately comes up with some interesting weeds (poison hemlock!) or Johnson Grass (over 12 foot tall behind the barn, yuk!) so I consider covering everything priority. I don’t want to give those a chance to run amok.
So what I am looking for right now is not seeds for “real crops” but for “random things that aren’t horrifying” that can keep the mess down. They may get killed by dirt work if I have to backtrack, they may get brushcut if I have to cut that area. I’d LOVE if they’d outcompete the grass well enough to not need cutting, it’s not a task I think is useful. I HATE seeing the land scalped by cutters, the bees hate it, the turtles and animals hate it, we all hate it. But I have to cope until my house and systems are done, and I can plant in my “real crops.”
And since I’m doing so much of this myself at this point (still looking for help) the odds I will be have any time or energy for these plants is very low. I can’t water them, and if I harvest them, it will be when I have time, which may not be when they are ready. A lot may end up deer food.
So the seeds I’d love to be planting right now are rowdy, fast growing, without definite harvest times, that are not things I will regret planting years from now. Things that I won’t cry if they get damaged by a bulldozer or eaten by deer. Any chance of harvest is a bonus, things like herbs have the most chance of being useful that way. Things that will reseed and be harvestable in a year or more when I catch my breath are excellent. But not anything valuable, or that needs attention.
I LOVE flowers, the wild bees are already very interested to see what I have planted, and I’m doing as many natives as I can for them. I am slowly learning about the prairie wildflowers, most of them do well here. Any rowdy flowers are worth trying. Squash and melons do well here, the deer eat them, but I belong to school of thought that if you plant more than they can eat, there’s still some left for you. And anything that will improve the soil is always a bonus.
Hopefully this makes some sense (bad health day, I can't tell if I’m making sense or not) and clarifies a bit about what is going on. Thank you for reading and thinking about whether you have Got Excess Seeds Pearl
Bump and update: Last year got bad, house did not get built. Shooting for this year, and looking for seeds still. It's all been said in my other posts what I'm doing, so I'll just add: when you go through your seeds to see what you are planting this year, keep me in mind! Random rowdy amokness would be appreciated :)
I can't be the only one out there with things like a 5 gallon bucket of swiss chard seeds....