It takes a lot of seeds per acre to make sure an area fills in with native plants, not weeds.
In the photo, around 3,000 pounds of hand collected seed is being mixed on the floor. There is over 125 species in this dry-mesic seed mix. Some of the barrels have just one species of seed. In a new planting that was a former row crop field, we are planting 40 to 60 pounds per acre. We don’t clean our seed so perhaps 40% of that bulk weight is chaff. The bottom line is this is a lot of seed per acre.
Further west of Nachusa, Chris Helzer in dry Nebraska is getting solid results using much less seed per acre on sandy soils.
When we look back on our past plantings we feel confident that poor plantings often resulted from “spreading our seed too thin”, the metaphor made real.