Native Seed Collection
EcoSource Native Seeds and Restoration collects native seeds. If you need natives seeds collected or would like to become a collector, join here or contacts us here.
Collecting native plant seeds is vital to the recovery of millions of acres of U.S. land that have been disturbed by invasive plants, drought, and disturbances, such as improper grazing and wildfires. Native seeds play an essential, but under-recognized role in restoring the health of our treasured land. Native seeds find its way to users through many different pathways and steps, but all native seed originates from collections of material taken from populations of wild-growing native plants. EcoSource collects native plant seeds from various locations within an area to ensure our seeds are genetically similar to the areas they are intended to be used. We sell seeds based on the collection location and Ecological Site Descriptions. Native seed collection can be complicated because each species has special characteristics that must be considered and close monitoring is required in order to harvest seeds that are viable before they drop to the ground. For most native grasses and forbs (broadleaved wildflowers), the purpose of wildland collections is to provide foundation seeds for small scale grow-outs to get enough seeds for large-scale production in cultivated and irrigated fields before their ultimate use. However, for some restoration projects the native seed used is obtained directly from wild growing plants. Thirty-three percent of the seeds used by agencies are collected directly from wild populations.
EcoSource Native Seeds and Restoration screens, cleans, and de-awns native seeds. If you need natives seeds cleaned or would like to become involved in seed cleaning, join here or contact us here.
To ensure that the native seed pipeline is complete, EcoSource offers full cleaning facilities and services to its members and to outside seed production programs. Customers and collectors provide us with bags of freshly collected materials. We determine the best process for cleaning the seeds from the material. Each lot of seeds are sampled and tested in-house for percent purity, seeds per pound, percent filled seed, and final moisture content to determine whether additional drying is required prior to storage. When new species are received, we spend extra time to determine the best processing method. This allows us to determine the best cleaning system to prevent damage to the seeds. Our cleaning facility has up-to-date cleaning and screening equipment appropriate for most native species. We can remove debris, unwanted, shriveled or damaged seeds. EcoSource can also remove awns of grasses that are being drill seeded. Once seeds are cleaned, we can dry them, package them with source identified labels, and store them.
Registered and Certified Seed Production
EcoSource Native Seeds and Restoration works with local producers to grow native seeds on both small and large scale. If you would like to grow native plants for seeds or would like to have your already collected seeds grown into large quantities, join here or contact us here.
EcoSource works with producers in the region to grow collected native plant seeds into both registered and certified seeds. Once seeds are collected, cleaned and ready to sow, the majority will need to be grown in small 5 to 10 acre cultivated and irrigated fields. Seeds harvested from these small acreage agricultural fields are considered "Registered" seeds. In most cases, members will use registered seeds to grow larger acreages of native seeds, for "Certified" seeds. Certified seeds are those seeds used for restoration of degraded range and wild lands. EcoSource provides its members educational materials and training programs on the best native seed growing strategies for both registered and certified seed production. We provide assistance, technical advice, specialized equipment sharing, and access to all EcoSource programs and services (cleaning, bagging, storage). EcoSource will label seeds by species, the precise geographic location of the collection (including seed zone if known), the elevation, soil type, date of collection, and the signature of the collector. Seeds/pound, percent germination, percent moisture, purity and seed treatment as well as the storage conditions are also included.
Seedling Production for Transplanting
EcoSource grows seedlings for transplanting. If you would like to grow seedlings for transplanting or need seeds grown into seedlings for transplanting, join here or contact us here.
Many plants do not establish well from seeds under the relatively harsh conditions supplied by mother nature. Naturally occurring conditions for establishing various shrubs and many forbs are often unique and rare. In these cases, it can be helpful to grow seedlings under controlled conditions and transplant seedlings. EcoSource works with its members to grow shrubs and forbs to be transplanted and to assist its members in understanding the details of growing and transplanting each species. The use of seedlings can avoid problems like adverse environmental conditions, competition from herbaceous plants, and unsuccessful seedings. Critical to restoration success is to understand the ecology of the site targeted for restoration, especially information about vegetation composition, slope, aspect, and soil conditions. EcoSource helps members create nurseries that are well-managed and provide the quantity and quality of healthy seedling for transplanting and ensure proper planting technique and root placement critical to the long-term survival and growth.
Native Seed Storage
EcoSource stores seeds in temperature controlled space. If you would like to store seeds for future use, join here or contact us here.
Although high desert seeds are often long lived and may exhibit multiple dormancy traits, many seeds have their best germination potential at the moment they reach maturity on the plant. Storage conditions are critical in order to maintain seed viability over an extended period of time. EcoSource offers high- quality large-scale native seed storage that allow long-term preservation of collected and grown native seeds. As a general rule, each 1% reduction in seed moisture doubles the life of the seeds. To protect from premature germination and seed pests, seeds should be dried as quickly as possible.