Buy local seed wherever possible

Reliable sources to buy, plus seed sharing opportunities from seed gathering to green hay
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Steve Pollard
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Steve Pollard »

Amy - see my profile picture.
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Amy »

Oh, yes, I hadn't noticed...
Hmm... Schadenfreude, Steve? .. bragging or is the answer that I am unobservant? :D
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Steve Pollard »

Amy, nah, just Sod's law, of course! - I chased a Small Copper across the field and it alighted on my farm's first ever Fleabane plant, and then the next day the cows trashed it! I'll have to camp out next to it with my cow stick to protect it if I'm lucky enough to have it come back this year. Does it really only come into flower in mid-September?
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Amy »

Fleabane - mine flowers end July-3rd week August, Usually best in first 2 weeks Aug. Romps vegetatively in permanently damp to wet areas, loves peaty soil and doesn’t disdain yucky wet clay. Produces masses of seed, but so far this has not germinated.

Small copper and the occasional fly are the only ones interested.
If anyone (LOCAL to me on Exmoor,) wants to dig some up, pm me. Best way to propagate.


(See, David, Steve, I am learning. Plus pat on the back for link back to your topic
)
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Amy »

Ripe seed in the hedgerows and ditches:

(Timings will of course differ according to local weather, altitude etc. These are some North Devon timings for plants on wet acid soil.)

late May/June - marsh valerian

June/July - red campion, ragged robin, yellow rattle, cow parsley, wood avens

July/August - bush vetch, meadow vetchling, cats ear type yellow daisies, bristly oxtongue, dogs violet, common valerian, rough chervil, wood avens, nipplewort, cow parsley

August/Sept - tufted vetch, common agrimony, hemp agrimony, knapweed, greater birds foot trefoil, angelica, meadow sweet, toadflax, red clover, foxglove

Sept/Oct: knapweed, tufted vetch, fleabane, toadflax, musk mallow, betony, devil's bit scabious, loosestrife, common figwort, upright hedge parsley, (rowan)

Dec: (guelder rose)

What have I left out?

And the legal position:-
"Picking parts of a plant (leaves, flower stems, fruit and seed) is therefore OK, as long as you don’t remove or uproot the whole plant.".....
Except for a site designated for its conservation interest, such as National Nature Reserves (NNRs) and Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI's) in Britain and Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI's) in Northern Ireland".... and "highly threatened plants that are especially vulnerable to picking
." https://www.plantlife.org.uk/uk/discove ... nd-the-law
Last edited by Amy on Wed Jun 01, 2022 9:10 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Steve Pollard »

Further to my previous post about native/local provenance vs bought knapweed. See below pictures taken yesterday (11.08.2021) on Dartmoor. The native knapweed is in full bloom and buzzing with insects, whilst the bought knapweed in an adjacent field has long finished - the significance for a haymeadow being that that doesn't leave a lot of available late season nectar - assuming ragwort and creeping thistle are being controlled.
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Robin »

That's interesting, Steve, because I've used an Emorsgate mix in part of the meadow and the knapweed that has come up there is still in flower.
Mind you, everything seems to come late with us: we still have plenty of flowers on the yellow rattle!
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Amy »

It's so educational to visit other meadows. I visited 2 MM meadows this weekend, and I was struck by the daintiness of the oxeye daisies.

A few years ago, I was given "native white oxeye daisies" by a well meaning and kind friend. Those daisies were tall and very strong, with large extremely bright green leaves, and duck egg yolk sized bright orange centres. They spread like wildfire en masse around the garden for a year and then escaped into the fields and started popping up all over. A real nuisance. I never saw any insects using them, I strongly disliked like their appearance, and I felt their ability to spread was a threat, so I ripped the whole lot out, (Thank Goodness) and I swore to myself that I would never have any native white daisies again. Having seen the 'proper' dainty daisies in MM meadows, I have realised that the ones I was given must have been garden hybrids.

There are a great many of these garden hybrids masquerading as natives - corn flowers, poppies, foxgloves.

At Lethytep I read a notice saying 23 insects use oxeye daisies and that they are a colonising plant. It was interesting to see that in those long established meadows, the daisies were growing in very sparsely scattered random patches, they didn't look "sown by human hand" if you know what I mean, and were by no means growing in the heavy concentrated swathes which I had feared in respect of the hybrids.
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by Richard Lewis »

As well as garden hybrids such as 'Shasta Daisy' Leucanthemum x superba, there are probably some non-native genotypes of Oxeye Daisy around in cultivation too. However, even native genotypes can look remarkably different in different habitats - even within our small garden, the plants that have seeded into a recently cleared area are much larger, more vigorous and robust than those in the more established long-grass areas, despite growing on similar soil in a similar environment - just the difference in level of competition from established grass sward makes a large difference.

But sadly our countryside is now full of look-alike species and genotypes imported over recent decades - the highways agency is particularly responsible for non-native genotypes of many tree and 'wildflower' species on verges. And plenty of NGOs who should know better have done likewise, notably the Woodland Trust, who only stopped importing saplings after the outbreak of Ash Dieback.
Hedge-planting too has imported continental genotypes and even look-alike species, most notably the Hawthorn Crataegus rhipidophylla, native to the Baltic and mistakenly imported and planted in place of our native Hawthorn species.
Even in our local graveyard which is a tiny but remarkable fragment of species-rich ancient grassland, I suspect that the Cowslips were originally planted (from an unknown source) and have now established and appear part of the native flora.
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Re: Buy local seed wherever possible

Post by SueEverett »

Crop grown seed will reflect the collection site location and management. For instance, some of the commercially-available devilsbit scabious has its origin in Oxfordshire hay meadows, and it is adapted to flower before the hay cut (early July), so flowers such earlier than in pastures, especially upland ones. DBS is exactly the species that needs local collection. It is easy to collect the seed. It can also be readily propagated but the seed must be sown fresh and green.
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