Cover Crops for Native Seed | Native Seed Carriers | OPN Seed
Cover Crops for Native Seed | Native Seed Carriers | OPN Seed
Ohio Prairie Nursery is Doing Business As OPN Seed

Native Seed Producer Since 1998

Cover Crops and Seed Carriers

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Cover or nurse crops are plants that are planted with your native seed mix and can sometimes provide benefits to your planting. Establishment time for perennial species varies between species. Early successional or pioneer species may mature in the first year while more conservative species can take several years to mature. When planting perennials, there is a variable period of time that it takes for the seed to germinate and the plant to establish. This time is influenced by the season that you plant, the weather conditions of that particular season, and other variables. In some cases, it is acceptable to wait while the native species germinate and establish, in others there may be a need for things to germinate and turn green in a more predictable timeframe. This can be particularly important in terms of erosion control or soil stabilization, or simply as an aesthetic benefit. This is where cover or nurse crops can be used. In addition to quicker germination, the nurse crop can also provide better environment for the natives to germinate and establish underneath.

OPN Seed (Ohio Prairie Nursery) recommends using ReGreen™ as a cover crop for your plantings. This plant was developed specifically for native seed and works well under marginal growing conditions. Click on the link to learn more about this product.

We recommend using Rice Hulls as a carrier with your native seed mix. The Rice Hulls help you know where you have sown and do not impede with seed germination.

You'll also find our Quick Growing Wildflowers Mix and Fast Flowering Seed Packet in this category. These contain wildflowers that typically germinate and flower in the same growing season when planted in the spring and provide a nice and colorful alternative as a cover crop while native perennial wildflowers establish. They also have the added benefit of attracting pollinators.

Quick Growing Wildflowers Mix
Attract pollinators quickly or add some color to your landscape. This mix is a great "starter blend" if you are new to wildflowers. Will bloom in the same growing season if planted in late spring.
Fast Flowering Seed Packet
Growing native seed takes time and patience. For instant gratification, try our Fast Flowering Seed Packet. With this mix of annuals, you'll see results in the first growing season and pollinators will see a place to forage. A win for everybody!
Regreen™
Regreen™ is a sterile short lived perennial hybrid cross between annual Wheat and Western Wheat Grass. It germinates very quickly and has a robust root system to aid in erosion control applications. ReGreen was developed as a nurse crop for native species and is now the preferred option.
Avena sativa - Common Oats
Common Oats is an annual nurse crop that can be used with native seed to help reduce erosion and reduce weed pressure.
Lolium multiflorum - Annual Rye Grass
Annual Rye Grass is an annual nurse crop that can be used used with native seed to help reduce erosion and reduce weed pressure.
Secale cereale - Winter Rye
Winter Rye is an annual nurse crop that can be used with native seed to help reduce erosion and reduce weed pressure.
Rice Hulls
We recommend using these Rice Hulls as a carrier for your native seed mix. These will help ensure an even distribution of your seed.
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