Just going over the results from planting last fall and this spring. I noticed something curious.
Did a lot of rake/scatter last fall. Hasn't done all that well, a couple of promising spots have seen nothing coming up. However, I did use a seed drill (seedstick) last fall in a few places, and those seeds have done well. Put out some seeds with rake/scatter this spring, and those have done very well, even those I put near the rake/scatter plots from last fall that didn't come up.
Given that the seedstick was set for about a 1\" planting depth, I'm beginning to wonder if the shallow planted seeds last fall weren't eaten by something - there are field mice and chipmunks in that forest, plus birds.
Anyone else seen evidence that seeds planted shallow in the fall are getting eaten? That's the only thing that makes sense to me.
Johno - I don't know if this would relate to your situation or not, but in the fall of 2010 I used the rake and scatter method on some fairly steep slopes. I had very poor germination with these plantings in the spring of 2011. Some of them came up this spring, and even though I walked over that seed pretty good to seat it into the ground the ones that came up were a little down the hill from where I'd planted. The heavy rains during the last 18 months must have washed them there. I still didn't have a huge percentage of those seeds show up this spring, but perhaps some of them had been eaten by something especially if they were laying on top of the ground. You may want to check down the hill, possibly up to 10 feet or so depending on the slope. I found little pockets of densely sprouted 3 leafers this spring about 3-6 feet below the bed where they were planted.
Yep, rake and Scatter method works but sometimes it does not have the greatest results.
If you can modify it as TNhunter had explained in one of his videos that works even better. Getting the seed 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch below the surface of the soil works best in my opinion and I have had better results.
Yes on the animals eating the seed to some degree. But I have planted seed from two different suppliers in planting beds side by side in the same woods and the same planting method using the rake and scatter method and they have had completely different results. So I think the seed source has more to do with it than the mice, chipmunks, turkey etc eating the seeds.
I have to agree w/ both Latt and 5Prong as toheir points.
I have used primarily the modified rake and scatter method of planting. I am planting in tow different geographical areas, one on a 20-25degree slope in the mountains, the 2nd in the treeline out by backyard[piedmont]. I have noticed both birds and rodents having a salad wiht seeds. I have seen small birds drop down right after planting the seed, grab a seed, and fly away... and found halves of a obviously eaten seed in both locations. Birds and voles/mice are the culprits.
I'm going to install rodent poisioning traps in both locations... however am going to be very cautious about that stuff, as am not interested in poisioning my pets or other animals besides those pesky rodents.
I have the worst proble with rodents in the treeline in my backyard. Got lost of squirrells there, and voles... and am goingto make a real dent in their numbers very soon!
In my opinion, improperly stratified seed is the culprit more so than predation. I think this market needs a swift kick in the rear end in terms of quality. More than once I have planted areas heavily and have seen a minimal amount of predation to seed (maybe 5%) and have only had a 10% germination rate.