Winter Sowing of Natives
Many people are out now seeding new prairies or over seeding established prairies to get more diversity. Seed can be directly broadcast in a method resembling feeding chickens. If you have only a small amount of seed, you can mix it with wet sand or cottonseed hulls to bulk it up and get more of an even coverage.It is very hard to evenly spread a small amount of seed, especially those light and fluffy seeds therefore mixing with an inert material is the best way to do it. You can calibrate the coverage that your seeds will occupy by doing a false sowing. To do this get a measured volume of your material that you are going to use be it wet sand, cottonseed hulls or wet sawdust. Put it into an empty gallon ice cream container and tuck it under your arm against your body. Reach into the container with the other hand and grab a handful of the material. Start walking and slinging the seed in a sweeping motion out in front of you just like feeding chickens. After you have run out of this matrix, estimate the width and length of coverage on your site. Now thoroughly mix your seed the chosen matrix.You can then spread your seed this winter and allow mother nature to do the stratification to break down the germination code and also all winter snows and rains to get good seed to soil contact. You can even spread the seed over 2 to 3 inches of snow. Always have the wind to your back.