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All About Cover Crops & Green Manure

cover crop
It’s been my experience that some of the best stewards of the land are our country’s farmers. Contrary to the beliefs of some folks, farmers care deeply about the land they make their living from. They work diligently to perfect their systems and minimize environmental harm, often spending several years in the classroom studying the latest scientific knowledge related to their profession. The newest generation of farmers are especially knowledgeable and willing to adopt new ideas and technology. Take cover crops and green manure for example.

Turf Wars: More Ugly Truth Coming Out About Artificial Turf

Artificial Turf Soccer Field
I’d hate to be in charge of PR for the artificial turf industry right now. As an avid follower of all things turf, I’ve been watching closely as story after story was rolled out during the last few months about the problems caused by fake grass. For years I’ve advocated the use of real turfgrass over artificial turf. I first explored the debate back in 2012 and cited many of the arguments against its use.

The Bee’s Knees: Forage Influence on Honey Flavor and Color

honey jar
In recent years, beekeeping has become quite a popular hobby. Thanks to an increased awareness of the struggles our pollinators are experiencing, along with the added fun and excitement of raising honeybees and producing your own honey, people from all walks of life are suiting up and heading out to the bee yard. Even celebrities are taking up the hobby. Earlier this year, Morgan Freeman made news by discussing how he’d recently started beekeeping. Here at Nature’s Seed, beekeeping fever hit a few of our team members as well, including myself.

Black Gold: What to Look for When Purchasing Topsoil

Topsoil; photo by Eunice at Flickr.com
For most homebuyers, soil quality is probably not very high on the wish list when it comes to selecting a house. You’ll probably never have a realtor use a soil probe during a home showing, or exclaim how the backyard features a swimming pool, deck and beautiful sandy loam with a pH of 7.2. It’s not until you realize your landscape is perpetually wimpy that maybe there’s something wrong with the soil. This problem is all too common, especially nowadays as more and more homes are being built on steep, rocky hillsides devoid of a decent soil layer.

Bison Gaining Popularity in the Pasture & on the Plate

American Bison
They might look like giant walking shag carpets, but they sure do taste good. The American bison, or buffalo as they’re commonly called, is quickly becoming the meat of choice for many Americans. When compared to beef, health-conscious individuals find the lower fat and cholesterol levels appealing, as well as the higher amounts of vitamin B-12 and protein. Bison is commonly marketed as a healthier alternative to traditional red meats while still retaining a delicious, beefy taste.

Riparian Rescue: Wetland Restoration, Creation and Enhancement

Coastal Wetlands
The wetlands are some of the most important ecosystems on earth. Unfortunately the relationship between humans and wetlands has, in the past, been at odds. Before the arrival of the Europeans, wetlands covered approximately 215 million acres of the United States. Today less than half remain. Once considered of little value, the wetlands were drained for development or indirectly degraded by pollution and urban runoff. The fate of these watery environments seemed doomed for destruction.

What You Need to Know About Endophyte Toxicity in Tall Fescue Pastures

Tall Fescue Seed Head
Tall fescue is one of the most versatile, widely-used pasture forages in America. Purdue University estimates that over 35 million acres of tall fescue are grown in the United States. Its tolerance to temperature extremes, poor soil conditions, excessive moisture and drought are well-known. Tall fescue is also high yielding forage, often producing 2-4 tons of dry matter per acre. With all these attributes, it may seem tall fescue would be an excellent choice for a pasture. And it is…except when it isn’t.



7 Common Lawn Myths and Misconceptions Exposed

Lawn Grass
We hear them all the time. Some of us are probably guilty of spreading them, while most of us probably believe one or two of them. They’re the myths, misconceptions or downright false ideas that seem to pop up in gardening conversations around the country. Maybe your neighbor heard it from a neighbor who heard it from a neighbor. Perhaps that online forum you were browsing wasn’t full of the experts you thought it was. Or maybe these ideas have been passed along for so long we’ve come to accept them as fact.

Dealing With Dead and Bare Spots in Your Lawn

Bare Spot in Lawn
Sometimes taking care of lawn grass can seem like an episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation. A bare or dead spot in your otherwise perfect lawn shows up, and all of a sudden you’re looking for clues, interviewing witnesses and gathering evidence. Having spent many years as a turfgrass manager, I know how frustrating these problem areas can be. We often think by simply reseeding or re-sodding we can fix the problem only to have the spot return again and again. Before wasting time and money reseeding these problem areas, it’s important to first find out what’s causing the bare or dead spots.

What’s Really in the Bag? Percent by Coverage vs. Percent by Weight

Bag of Seed
Every once in a while I’ll receive a frantic email from a concerned customer that reads something like this:

“I was checking out the information on the tag of the pasture blend you just sent me, and I noticed the percentages on the tag are very different from the percentages you advertised on your website! Are you trying to rip me off? Please explain!”

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