Managing Milkweed Crop Pests: A Native Seed Industry Guide

Author: Project Milkweed Date: 2017

Project Milkweed is a collaboration with the Xerces Society, the native seed industry, and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to increase commercial availability of milkweed seed. Since 2010 this partnership has worked to address some of the major production challenges faced by the native seed industry and has expanded commercially viable milkweed production to regions where seed was not previously available.

During Project Milkweed surveys of native seed producers, yield loss from insect pests was consistently the most significant challenge reported. Further complicating the situation is the abundance of monarch butterfly caterpillars, crop pollinators, and predatory insects, all of which are typically found in seed production plots and which are vulnerable to insecticides used for pest control.

Download PDF: Managing Milkweed Crop Pests: A Native Seed Industry Guide (3MB)

Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2016

Native thistles are a largely misunderstood and wrongly maligned group of wildflowers. These diverse plants ll a variety of significant niches along more esteemed wildflowers including the cone flowers, prairie clovers, camas, and compass plant. While so many of those native wildflowers have been embraced by restoration practitioners, ultimately finding a place in our gardens and restored natural areas, appreciation for our native thistles never really caught on. is is too bad. With sublime blue-green foliage, interesting stem and leaf architecture, and pink blossoms, our native thistles are every bit as resplendent as countless other native plants.

Download PDF: Native Thistles: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide (3MB)

Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects

Author: The Xerces Society Date: unknown

This bulletin will help you use cover crops to encourage populations of pollinators and beneficial insects on your farm while you address your other resource concerns. It begins with a broad overview of pollinator and beneficial insect ecology, then describes cover crop selection and management, how to make cover crops work on your farm, and helpful and proven crop rotations. It will also touch on the limitations of cover crops and pesticide harm reduction, among other topics.

Download PDF: Cover Cropping for Pollinators and Beneficial Insects (727KB)

Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed to Expand Pollinator Habitat on Farms

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2016

Native wildflowers are the backbone of pollinator habitat on the farm. Field borders, filter strips, pastures, hedgerows, and other places where wildflowers (and grasses!) grow also provide us with natural pest control by sustaining predators of crop pests. Additionally, these plants help filter runoff from fields, and protect soil from erosion. Despite the benefits that native wildflowers and grasses provide, the cost of seed can be daunting. Fortunately, if you have native plant areas already established, they can provide you with a readily available source for additional seed.

While harvesting seed from existing wildflowers around the farm may not yield huge volumes, it can provide you with the raw material to gradually create more habitat on the farm. By collecting seed from plants already growing on your land, you are also focusing your efforts on species that are known to perform well on your soils. In this document we outline the basic steps of collecting native plant seed using readily available, non-specialized equipment. While our focus is primarily on wildflowers, many of these same techniques can be useful for collecting native grasses as well as seeds from trees and shrubs.

Download PDF: Collecting and Using Your Own Wildflower Seed to Expand Pollinator Habitat on Farms (2MB)

Establishing Pollinator Meadows From Seed

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2015

To boost healthy populations of both wild resident bees and managed pollinators, the single most effective action you can take is to plant native wild flower habitat. This tangible course of action can be accomplished by anyone at any scale. The process behind establishing a wild flower-rich pollinator planting from seed consists of five basic steps:

  • Site selection
  • Site preparation
  • Plant selection
  • Planting techniques
  • Ongoing management

The steps outlined in this document are applicable to plantings that range in size from a small backyard garden up to areas around an acre.

Download PDF: Establishing Pollinator Meadows From Seed (2MB)

Why Grow And Sell Native Milkweed?

Author: Monarch Joint Venture Date: unknown

Milkweed plants (family Asclepiadaceae) are the only food source for monarch butter y caterpillars. However, milkweed has severely declined in North America due to drastic changes in land use or management, like agriculture and development. Milkweed losses and other stressors are associated with declines in migratory monarch butterflies over the past 20 years [1, 6, 7]. To compensate for the loss of milkweed, gardeners across North America are helping monarchs by planting native species of milkweeds, and by keeping milkweeds safe from pesticides.

Download PDF: Why Grow and Sell Native Milkweed? (839KB)

A Guide to the Native Milkweeds of Oregon

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2012

Five species of milkweed are native to Oregon. This guide includes profiles of the four most common species, all of which are used as a larval host plant by the monarch butterfly.

Asclepias cordifolia (purple milkweed, heartleaf milkweed)
Asclepias cryptoceras ssp. davisii (Davis’ milkweed)
Asclepias fascicularis (narrow-leaved milkweed)
Asclepias speciosa (showy milkweed)

A profile of each of these species includes descriptions of flowers, leaves, and seed pods, accompanied by photos and distribution maps. Supporting these profiles is a simple guide to identifying milkweeds based on their distinctive flowers and fruits.

Reducing Phytophthora

Authors: Parke, Jennifer (OSU) Date: 2010

Phytophthora species are some of the most problematic plant pathogens in nursery production systems. The quarantine pathogen Phytophthora ramorum has received the most notoriety, but many Phytophthora species pose a challenge for nursery growers.

These pathogens cause trouble because of their persistence and spread in infested soil and water, and their ability to attack a wide variety of plants. Some species cause root rot, whereas others cause foliar blight and shoot dieback. Several species can infect plant parts both above and below the ground.

In collaboration with Niklaus Grünwald and Val Fieland of the USDA-ARS Horticultural Crops Research Laboratory, Carrie Lewis and I (Oregon State University) recently completed a three-year project to determine the most common sources of Phytophthora contamination in nurseries. We applied a systems approach to identify three critical control points in nursery production systems: contaminated soil/gravel beds, contaminated irrigation water, and used pots. Another potential source of Phytophthora spp., not included in our study, is nursery stock brought in from off site.

So what is the take home message for growers? Here are the top 10 practical tips for nursery growers:

Download (PDF): Reducing Phytophthora (2MB)

The Woody Plant Seed Manual

Authors: Bonner, F.T. and Karrfalt R.P. (eds.) Date: 2008

The major audience for this book, as for its two predecessors, is those who are involved in the growing and planting of trees and shrubs. Their involvement can be collection and sale of seeds, production of nursery stock (both bare- root and container), or planting itself. Planting for commercial forest production is the traditional mainstay of tree planting, but planting for wildlife food, watershed protection, urban environmental improvement, ornamental enhancement, wetland mitigation, and carbon sequestration are all on the increase. Ecosystem management, now commonly used in the management of many federal and other governmental forest lands, has decreased the use of planting to regenerate the forests and has increased the role of natural regeneration. Those who apply these practices will find this book useful also in the data on flowering and seed production. Although the book is not intended to be a detailed textbook on seed ecology and physiology, there is sufficient scope and depth to the material included to make it useful to anyone who studies seeds.

Download (PDF): The Woody Plant Seed Manual (21MB)

Techniques to Determine Total Viability in Native Seed

Author: Vivrette, N.

The deep dormancy exhibited by seeds of many native plants can lead to the under estimation of total viability in laboratory tests. Pre-treatment of dormant seeds with gibberellic acid to break dormancy prior to testing for germination or total viability can give a more accurate assessment of seed quality.

Download (PDF): Techniques to Determine Total Viability in Native Seed (93KB)

Seed Germination and Storability Studies of 69 Plant Taxa Native to the Willamette Valley Wet Prairie

Authors: Guerrant Jr., E.O. and Raven, A.

Seeds of 69 taxa native to the Willamette Valley, Oregon were subjected to four germination treatments: two under ambient late winter into summer environmental conditions (untreated (fresh) seed or dry and frozen seed) and two in controlled environment chambers (some seed was cold stratified at 5°C then placed in a 10°C/20°C chamber, other seed was placed in 10°C/20°C chamber then moved to a 5°C/15°C chamber). At least 93% of the taxa tested can tolerate desiccation and frozen storage.

One third of the taxa had a maximum mean germination above 80% in at least one of the four germination treatments, 55% of the taxa had a maximum mean germination rate between 10% and 80%, and only 12 % of the taxa had less than 10% germination. A total of 88% of the taxa had their highest germination in one or both of the two treatments, fresh and cold stratification.

Download (PDF): Seed Germination and Storability Studies of 69 Plant Taxa Native to the Willamette Valley Wet Prairie (267KB)

 

Salvaging Plants for Propagation and Revegetation

Author: Buis, S.

Salvaging native plants is the act of rescuing plants from a construction or disturbance site before they are destroyed. We have not found salvage to be a cost effective method for obtaining most of the plants we sell in our nursery or use in our own projects. However, we do sometimes salvage plants, either to obtain plants that are dif cult to propagate, to increase the genetic diversity of plants in our nursery, because they are unusual species that we don’t have access to otherwise, or to preserve plant genetics on a disturbance site for future replanting. Factors important to consider in salvaging plants include species, size, site access and soil type, whether to use hand or mechanical techniques, time of year, available crew, etc.

Download (PDF): Salvaging Plants for Propagation and Revegetation (275KB)

Ruminations and Ramblings About Native Plant Propagation

Author: Landis, T.D.

Native plant nurseries face different challenges than traditional forest and conservation nurseries. They must educate their customers to the practical limitations of propagating native plants such as the poor availability of seeds or vegetative propagation material. The unusually long amount of time to collect propagules, treat seeds or cuttings, and grow the seedlings emphasizes the need for crop planning well in advance of the outplanting date. The concept of “source-identified, locally-adapted” planting stock must continually be stressed when dealing with native plant customers. New products mean new markets so nurseries should try to produce a range of species and stock types and show them to prospective customers. Native plant nurseries and customers should establish networks to better exchange information. Although there are few incentives to do so, both nurseries and seedling users should strive to share techniques about collecting seed and cuttings, seed treatments, and cultural techniques. Attending professional meetings and presenting propagation and outplanting information is one of the most effective ways to network. Publishing propagation protocols on the Internet is an exciting new way to share technical information.

Download (PDF): Ruminations and Ramblings About Native Plant Propagation (313KB)

Regional Native Seed Cooperatives: working toward available, affordable, and appropriate native seed

Author: Smith, S. Date: 2017

Abstract: Regional native seed cooperatives are emerging as a tool to vastly improve the availability of genetically appropriate native seed. Within a cooperative, practical and ecological requirements for native seed are balanced by bringing users and producers together to jointly develop genetic protocols. Regional native seed cooperatives promote a novel agricultural niche that requires the development of new farms, infrastructure, and techniques. The South Sound Prairies partnership has a successful cooperative that is used here as a case study to explore this model of seed production.

Download (PDF): Regional Native Seed Cooperatives (365KB)

Propagation of Interior British Columbia Native Plants from Seed

Authors: Hudson, S. & Carlson, M. Date: 1998

Abstract: British Columbia’s considerable diversity of soils, topographies and climates have given rise to a rich variety of native plant species. Many commercially valuable tree species have well established protocols for seed collection, planting stock production, seedling handling and planting. Comparatively little is known about these activities for non-commercial shrub and tree species. Many of these deciduous shrub and tree species are being used for watershed restoration and rehabilitation of eroded slopes, road edges and landings. Demands for planting stock are increasing each year.

Download (PDF): Propagation of Interior British Columbia Native Plants from Seed (275KB)

Native Plant Propagation and Restoration Strategies

Author: Haase, D. and Rose, R. (OSU) Date: 2001

Abstract: Propagation and planting of native plants for habitat restoration is a multi-faceted process. There are many issues over which there is general agreement among restorationists, but there are a number of subjects that cause disagreement. For example, restorationists often agree that native plants should be emphasized, but disagree over where seeds or transplants should come from. In this paper, I examine four areas of controversy: the use single or multiple sources of a species at a given restoration site (the SOMS debate), source distance of plant materials, the use of native plant selections, and the importance of one’s definition of “native plant.” I conclude that some of these issues may be resolved through careful research, while others will remain a matter of personal opinion, and can only be resolved through a clear statement and scope of objectives of each restoration project.

Download (PDF): Native Plant Propagation and Restoration Strategies (3MB)

Milkweeds: a Conservation Practitioner’s Guide

Author: The Xerces Society Date: 2014

The information in Milkweeds: A Conservation Practitioner’s Guide is gathered from interviews with native plant nurseries and seed producers, gained firsthand through Project Milkweed, and synthesized from scientific literature. It provides conservation professionals with information about optimizing milkweed seed production methods, offers guidance on incorporating milkweeds into restoration and revegetation efforts, and highlights milkweeds’ unique characteristics and value to wildlife. Native seed producers, restoration practitioners, land managers, monarch conservationists, gardeners, and landowners will all find this guide valuable.

Download (PDF): Milkweeds: a Conservation Practitioner’s Guide (6MB)

Raising Native Plants in Nurseries: Basic Concepts

Authors: Dumeroese, Luna & Landis (eds.) Date: 2012

Growing native plants can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. This booklet, particularly the first chapter that introduces important concepts, is for the novice who wants to start growing native plants as a hobby; however, it can also be helpful to someone with a bit more experience who is wondering about starting a nursery. The second chapter provides basic information about collecting, processing, storing, and treating seeds. Chapter three focuses on using seeds to grow plants in the field or in containers using simple but effective techniques. For those native plants that reproduce poorly from seeds, the fourth chapter describes how to start native plants from cuttings. The final chapter provides valuable information on how to successfully move native plants from the nursery and establish them in their final planting location.

Download (PDF): Raising Native Plants in Nurseries: Basic Concepts (17.2MB)

Nursery Manual for Native Plants: a Guide for Tribal Nurseries

Authors: Dumeroese, Luna & Landis (eds.) Date: 2009

This handbook covers all aspects of managing a native plant nursery, from initial planning through crop production to establishing trials to improving nursery productivity into the future. It was written to assist Native Americans in growing native plants and draws extensively on tribal activities for the many photos and specific examples in the text.

Download (PDF): Nursery Manual for Native Plants: a Guide for Tribal Nurseries (3.7MB)

Native Seed Production Manual for the Pacific Northwest

Author: Corvallis PMC & Amy Bartow Date: 2015

The Native Seed Production Manual for the Pacific Northwest contains detailed, species-specific information for 17 grasses, 60 forbs, and 7 sedges and rushes found throughout the Western regions of Oregon and Washington. It also contains information on all aspects of seed production, from establishment and weed control to harvesting and seed processing. The back section features an equipment overview, which explains the various types of equipment used at the Corvallis Plant Materials Center.

Download (PDF): Native Seed Production Manual for the Pacific Northwest (31.6MB)