Brush seed harvesting has become a valuable methodology for collecting seed for environmentally sensitive projects like road schemes to other sensitive construction projects. CDTS have successfully brush seed harvested seeds from various donor sites ranging from heather moorland to flood meadows, depending on the client’s requirements.
The process starts by identifying a suitable donor site for collecting seed from for the receptor site. The donor site generally needs to be in close proximity to the receptor site to ensure local providence of the seed. Once the donor site has been identified and the relevant permissions are in place to collect the seed it is a question of timiming the harvesting to gather as much viable seed as possible, it may be necessary to collect on more than one occasion as different species set seed at different times of the year.
CDTS’s brush seed harvester has been specifically made for us to be towed behind a quad bike; this low ground pressure combination of equipment ensures minimum impact on the donor site. The brush seed harvester is calibrated in height to ensure the counter rotating brushes collect a maximum amount of the right seed with the minimum quantity plant material. Once the brush seed harvesteris set up the quad is driven slowly over the donor site as the counter rotating brushes comb the seed heads into the hopper once full the hopper is tipped and the seed bagged for transportation. Generally enough seed can be harvested from a receptor site in a day to sow one hectare onto a receptor site. The donor site is left largely undisturbed after the harvesting process and within a couple of days it would be very hard to see where we had collected from.
The collected seed is taken back to our yard where it is laid out on sheets to dry. We repeatedly thresh the seed to aid the drying process and remove any stalks and other debris. Once the seed is perfectly dried it is bagged and labeled ready for use.
The receptor site requires preparing in much the same way as for wild flower seeding, ensuring any invasive species are treated and a suitable open seedbed formed.
Once the seedbed is prepared theharvestedseed can be sown, our preffered method is by hydroseeding as it enables the seed to be evenly sown and binds the seed to the soil without further disturbing the seedbed (which can trigger more weed germination) This methodology will give the harvested seed the best opportunity of establishment. Once sown the site should be treated like a wild flower meadow with careful monitoring of invasive species and effective treatment.
Brush seed harvesting is a cost effective and environmentally sound method for establishing species rich diverse swards on sensitive sites, however careful planning, the selection of a suitable donor and receptor site are essential along with a thorough preparation of the seed bed.
CDTS provide a turnkey brush seed harvesting service, please don’t hesitate to contact us to discuss your requirements.