bamert seed logo

Native Seed: FAQ

Answers to Your Most Common Native Seed Questions from Seed Experts

At Bamert, we have seven generations of experience growing, cleaning, and selling native seed. Below are answers to some commonly asked questions. If you don’t see an answer to your question here, don’t hesitate to reach out via our contact form. 

One of our reclamation specialists would be happy to assist you.

holding seeds in cupped hands

Frequently Asked Questions About Reclamation Seed Mixes

The question of how to plant your native seed blend is one of the most important and common questions we receive. To help guide you through the process, we have the following resources available:

Seeding rate refers to the amount of seed that needs to be planted. Usually, this is measured per square foot or per acre, depending on how much you are ordering. Your recommended seeding rate is going to fluctuate depending on the species you are planting, the location of your project, and your project’s specs.  

Seeding rate matters because an increased seeding rate is one of the easiest ways to increase the chances of a successful establishment. 

Your local NRCS county office should be able to help any producer with seeding rate questions and offer a seeding rate spreadsheet for their county. You can also call our Reclamation Specialists to help determine the right seeding rate for your project.

PLS stands for Pure Live Seed. Pure Live Seed is the measure of live or viable seed in your order (in short, the seed most likely to germinate). PLS is determined when seeds are tested after harvest and cleaning and is an indicator of a seed lot’s quality. 

Learn more about PLS in this blog post about Pure Live Seed by Bamert’s Director of Business Development, Rob Cook.

The best time to plant wildflowers is in the fall. This allows the seeds to follow Mother Nature’s normal rhythms: seeds fall from flowers during autumn, crack during the cold winter months, and germinate as temperatures rise in the spring. Here at Bamert, we always say, “For beautiful spring blooms, plant wildflower seeds in the fall.

Learn more in this blog post about planting wildflowers.

Most native seeds will germinate in 10-14 days if they have been planted at the right depth and watered just enough to keep the soil damp (or planted with moisture). 

Learn more about our native seed planting recommendations.

Native seeds will usually germinate in 10-14 days with proper soil bed preparation, planting, and irrigation. After the seedlings have germinated and an acceptable seedling density has been achieved, water once or twice a week until the stand is fully established.

We recommend waiting at least a year before allowing grazing on your native grasses.

This is one of our favorite questions. The answer to which native seeds you need to plant is always that a custom seed blend works best. The species in your custom seed blend will vary based on your project’s goals, desired outcome, soil type(s), climate, and timing of your project. 

You can request a quote for your custom seed blend, or call to talk with one of our Reclamation Specialists.

Our Reclamation Specialists can share some possible recommendations for renting the right equipment for planting native seed, such as a native seed drill, a drill seeder, or a broadcast seeder. Many local farm equipment retailers will have equipment available for rent as well.

Because we grow and clean our seed, we are able to create custom seed blends for our customers. Our Reclamation Specialists can help you identify the right blend to achieve your goals and meet the needs of your soil, climate, and region.

Unless recommended by a soil analysis, we do not recommend fertilizing when planting native seed. If phosphorus and potassium are recommended by the soil test they should be applied because they are important for root development, water use efficiency, and disease resistance. 

If fertilizer is used, avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers that will promote weed competition. Learn more about when to fertilize during planting.

We do not deliver your custom seed blend. However, most orders placed before 3:00 pm CST will ship the next day. We use FedEx for shipping and delivery.

Controlling weeds is a critical and ongoing aspect of establishing native plant stands, with strategies varying by the stage of planting. 

Initially, glyphosate can be applied to manage pre-existing weeds, potentially eliminating the need for soil disking or tilling. Once grasses reach a growth milestone of 4 inches or develop six leaves, a window opens for effectively using herbicides like 2,4-D, Dicamba, or Banvel to control broadleaf weeds without harming the grass. 

After seeding forbs and legumes, chemical weed control is no longer an option, requiring a shift to mechanical methods until the plants are established enough to tolerate pre-emergent herbicides for ongoing broadleaf weed management. It’s essential to adhere to recommended application rates and methods throughout this process.

Irrigation for native plants is mainly advised for native plantings during the initial establishment phase. Use regular, light waterings until the seedlings are firmly established and start developing their secondary root systems. You want the ground to be moist, but you don’t want water pools or runoff during this process. 

Once the secondary roots are developed, cut back on how often you water, but increase the amount. Beyond this phase, irrigation is only necessary during periods of dry weather to stimulate active growth.

One of the biggest advantages of planting native grasses is that they are highly adapted to their region, climate, and soil. This means native grasses are usually much more drought-tolerant than introduced species. 

Additionally, native grasses provide an essential ecosystem service of aquifer recharge and water filtration. Native grasses have deep roots that hold moisture, and some of that water moves from the grass to the aquifer. Learn more about the drought tolerance of native grasses in this blog.

At this time, we do not accept returns for native seed purchases. In order to make sure you have the right blend for your project, we recommend calling our Reclamation Specialists or requesting a quote here.