When it comes to selecting the right seed blend for your revegetation project, it can be a somewhat confusing matter. Understanding the distinction between the two common categories of seeds and how they can benefit your revegetation plan can be essential to choosing a suitable blend. Whether you are a site owner or project manager, we have compiled some brief information to help you make the right decision for your next rehabilitation project.
Native & Introduced Seed Mixes
When it comes to the variety of seeds, there is a broad range available for hydroseeding and hydromulching from a wide range of suppliers nationally. However, a vast majority of seed types fall into one of two categories: Native or Introduced. Here’s what you need to know:
Native Seed: As the name suggests, this type of seed is local to a specified area or region and is climatised to its natural habitat. Habitually native wild grasses, are suitable for both hydroseeding and hydromulching, however certain care must be taken during hydromulching works to spread only a thin layer of mulch as the mulch may smother the seed and prevent germination.
Introduced Seed: Sometimes referred to as exotic seeds, introduced seeds are species that have been introduced into the environment, either accidently or on purpose, and are not native to an area. Utilised in site revegetation projects through either hydroseeding or hydromulching solutions, it is important to note that being an introduced species does not mean that it is invasive. Many introduced species are non-invasive and very useful, performing comparably alongside native species.
Native Seed vs Introduced Seed
Hydroseeding and hydromulching have proven successful in revegetating even the most challenging sites, exposing them to the scrutiny of many studies undertaken by universities and researchers to fully assess the use of native or introduced blends and the advantages of both. We have taken their findings and made several observations about native and introduced seeds and their unique capabilities.
· In the harshest conditions, Australian native seed mixes perform better; requiring less water through application to produce comparable yields to introduced species.
· Reintroducing species that are endemic to the site’s natural surroundings is both sustainable and true to the goal of site rehabilitation.
· Introduced species are comparatively cost-effective when revegetating a site and often cover a site more quickly than their arid environment native counterparts.
· Australian native seed mixes require significantly less coverage for similar yields when compared to introduced species mixes.
Get the Best Out Of Both
Both native and introduced seed mixes offer their own advantages in certain conditions. Through hydroseeding and hydromulching processes, the best attributes of either seed type is accentuated and the slurry is tailored to the specific requirements of native or introduced seed blends. An introduced species with a slightly higher requirement for water might see the addition of a more absorbent, water-retaining mulch as a companion, or a native species with lower coverage requirements might see a change in the ratio of mulch to seed mix to water.
The hydromulching process is versatile in not only does it accentuate the advantages of both native and introduced seed blends, but it negates any of the revegetation challenges that they present. Hydromulching permits for large sites to be revegetated with any variety of seed mix both efficiently and sustainably.
Choosing the Right Seed Mix For You
It is ultimately down to the site owner or head of the project to select the suitable seed mix, but they should conduct research into the region and consult and consider the advice of professional site rehabilitation assessors, such as Spray Grass Australia, who are able to make recommendations based on their knowledge and experience. The hydromulching process will ensure a cost-effective, efficient and sustainable solution for rehabilitating your site; combating soil erosion, suppressing dust problems and ensuring continued natural growth for your site.