How much seed do I use for my direct seeding project?

The standard rate of seed use is 2kg of seed per hectare area. 1 hectare is 10000 square metres – ie a site 1000m in length and 10m width.

When do I undertake direct seeding?

Direct Seeding is best undertaken in late winter or early spring. It will depend on seasonal conditions as to when you can prepare the site, but aim for between August and early October. Seed used in direct seeding seems to best germinate as the soil and ambient air temperatures are on the increase.

How long does seed last before it loses its viability?

Seed with hard coats like the Acacias (Wattles) has a very long life expectancy of at least 50 years in many cases. Other seed like some Eucalyptus species can be viable for up to 10 years. However berry seeds like Kangaroo Apple (Solanum), Flax Leaf (Dianella) or Austral Mulberry (Hedycarya species) are best used fresh within a year of being collected. Viability of seed is best discussed with nursery growers or Seed Bank staff. Appropriate storage is the key to the longevity of many species.

What conditions are seed stored in at the Seed Bank?

Seed at the South Gippsland Seed Bank is stored in air tight plastic containers in a dry refrigerated environment at 5 degrees Celsius. This helps increase the life of many of the species of seed.

What are the best times of the year to collect seed?

Some species hold seed all year round. These include some Gum Trees (Eucalypts), Tea Trees (Leptospermum), She-oaks (Allocasuarina) and Paperbarks (Melaleuca).  Most other species are only available at specific times of the year, often concentrated over the summer period and early autumn. These include Wattles, Daisy Bushes, many of the berry producing species and other Pea flowering varieties. Discuss with trained people at the Seed Bank on best times for seed collection.

Do I need a permit to collect seed? 

Yes, you need to obtain a seed collection permit from the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning.  When collecting seed on local government land, a letter of permission from the local Shire is required. When collecting on private land, ensure you have the permission of the landholder prior to collection. Discuss these issues with Seed Bank staff prior to collecting.

Should I order my seed in advance? 

It would be ideal if orders were placed for seed well in advance, especially for large amounts. Ordering between 6-12 months in advance allows for specific collection to take place for individual orders to ensure that supplied seed is from as close to the project area as is possible. It also ensures that the Seed Bank has enough of the appropriate seed to fulfil the order. However if orders are placed at short notice this can usually be accommodated.