I'd like to buy a pound of sunn hemp seeds and get them in the ground right away. I'd prefer to buy them locally, rather than order them online.
Anybody know where I should look? I don't think I'll find them a Home Depot, etc.
I can't help you on where to find it locally (I bought it online with the inoculant), but I want to tell you to be sure to inoculate the seeds with Bradyrhizobium inoculant before planting for best results.
Wet the seeds with milk (it feeds & activates the inoculant) then dust the wet seeds with the inoculant immediately before planting.
Lou, Do you have a good online source? I just got mine off of ebay last year.
I also get mine off eBay from a Florida seller. I never see it sold anywhere locally in stores.
Hey Lou, thanks for the info! I found the Florida eBay guy (in Clearwater, right?) and sent in my order. Up till now I've never even heard about sunn hemp, but the more I read about it, the better I like it.
How long have you been using it? Any other tips on using it?
Some of the on-line places seem pricey. I have purchased from Petcher Seed and its about $4/LB and he does sell smaller quantities.I will be planting about 3 acres of it soon so I hope it performs as published.
I previously did a test area that was too small to be conclusive, yet it showed promise. I've since cleared a large area of oak & pine trees (over an acre) where I want to make my vegetable garden and orchard.
Yes, this year I found the seeds on eBay (from Clearwater sold with the inoculant) in ample quantity for a test to be effective. I'm plagued with nematodes in my soil and have been trying all kinds of home remedies to get rid of them.
A good test of how well it is working will be to plant okra once the Sun Hemp is fully established and has cleared the soil. Okra is extremely susceptible to nematode damage.
Okay, just got my sunn hemp seeds in the mail. There is also a packet of inoculant. This "inoculant" stuff is new to me. I wonder what it does, exactly?
Anyway, I'll plant the stuff tomorrow. I've been googling this subject and learning as much as I can as fast as I can.
I've never used a ground cover before. Am I supposed to plow this stuff under later? What if I just pull it out when I want to plant my veggies? Can I let the sunn hemp go to seed, then harvest the seeds for next time?
So much to learn!
When you plow it in it provides green manure for the soil and I think I heard that is where the beneficial nematode action happens.
I'd like to know more about the inoculant action myself.
Should be plowed at it greatest height just before full bloom and before seeds are set.
I didn't plow or pull out. I simply cut the plants off at the base and let them lie. I do a sort of modified lasagna garden anyhow. Seems like I remember that there's some benefits to cutting them down before they go to seed, but the only one I remember at the moment is that they can reseed very easily in your garden and then become a nuisance. If you successfully collect seeds, though, be sure at let us know. They are pricey, but of course, I have a tiny garden, so it's not that big of a deal for me personally.
I just did this last summer, on about 2/3 of my garden. I did not really see the benefits in terms of weed suppression, but that might have been just a spacing issue. I did however, pull everything up by the roots this fall and spring to check them out and the only nematode action I had was in a far corner where the sunn hemp wasn't planted. That's hardly conclusive proof, I know, but enough for me to spend $10 to do it again this summer. :)
Thanks for the Sunn Hemp idea. I ordered them from the Clearwater ebay guy and he is very generous with quantity. Auction says 100 IIRC but I think I got 200 in the pack with inoculant.
I planted them3 days ago and their seedling heads are up already! I soaked them all day like I was sprouting them and put them in the former collard bed and covered lightly with shredded mulch to retain water.
Before planting I thoroughly wet the area which is harder than it sounds, just using a hose and rake was not enough. Had to use my hands, my "soil" (AKA sand) is water repellent and water does not sink below the surface.
I'll post photos when it gets some height. :-)
I wonder if the guy in Clearwater selling the stuff sells outside of E-Bay, I'll send him a check... can someone give me a name and/or address, please, so I can contact him? also, I wonder how it would work in my rose-beds as a fertilizer organic mulch, on the Rose Forum they seem to think it would work good, so I'd like to try it, also in my meagre veggie-bed... anything helps ! Thanks, sally
His name is Daniel and his e-mail address is: firstname.lastname@example.org
And yes, he'll take a check as payment.
Thanks Brute, I'll try and find out more ,and see if he sells a small amt. of seed, I found a few places on Google but it appears it is for large farm operations, w/50 lbs. of seed, etc., which is kind of out of my sphere.... thanks, sally
Just like the bees work with the plants above ground to pollinate the flowers while the bees gather nectar and pollen, the inoculants work below ground on and around the roots to help the plant break down the nutrients in the soil needed for the plant to use as food.
The nitrogen fixing inoculants are rhizobacteria that live symbiotically with legumes such as peas, beans, etc. These bacteria live within specialized nodules on the root systems of legumes, where they process atmospheric nitrogen into a form available for the plants to use.
Another group of common soil inoculants are mycorrhizal fungi, which attach to the roots of many plant species and help conduct water and nutrients for the plants to use.
I hope this helps explain the relationships of the inoculant.
Hey, thanks Lou!
Very interesting. Should I use tiny amounts of the inoculant while giving my seeds the "milk treatment", in the hopes of not running out of inoculant ahead the seeds?
If I do run out, will the seeds still sprout without it? What soil PH does sunn hemp like?
Sorry for all the questions. All this stuff is new to me.
AAargh. Snails love sunn hemp seedlings. I even went out with a flashlight last night to try and catch them but they have mowed down about 80% of the sprouted seeds. Only caught one.
Today in daylight I searched for sleeping snails and dispatched 5 fat ones. Maybe I should make escargot? I love that but these snails look diff. than the shells I see with a fancy dinner.
who will be reseeding sunn hemp
Once the inoculant is in the dirt and you've plowed under a harvest it should stay viable for a few years so you could replant the same section without having to inoculate again, but a new area would need the inoculant applied to the seed.
I sure hope you guys are getting a better germination rate than I am! I don't think even 5% of the sunn hemp seeds I planted have sprouted. This is pathetic!
I tried every trick I know, even soaking them.
Has anyone had success with this cover crop this summer? I was driving around Dover yesterday and saw lots of farms planted. Some looked better than others. One farm had them very thick and three or four feet high. I usually use field peas, but I was impressed with the sunn hemp. Maybe next summer.
shuffles, my sunn hemp finally sprouted in satisfactory numbers and now the tallest plants are more than four feet tall. Looking good so far.
Okay, here's the latest: Once the sunn hemp finally got going, it really took off! Most of them are over 6' tall and beginning to flower.
I read somewhere that if you cut them off a foot from the ground, the stem will re-grow new leaves. So, that's what I did. Then I chopped up the cut off stems and leaves and plowed it under.
We'll see if I get a "second crop" before Fall.
Just curious - has any of you folks that grow this stuff noticed a lot of black helicopters hovering overhead lately??? I know it's not the hemp that us old hippies used to refer to, but I Googled it and it sure looks similar.