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I'm looking for some advice on how to establish perennial plants from seeds on a large area that is currently overgrown with vegetation. Specifically, I'm interested in planting perennial plants that propagate from seeds rather than from transplants.

The area I'm working with has dense grasses and weeds, making it challenging to prepare the soil for planting. I'm wondering what steps I can take to effectively establish these perennial plants despite the existing vegetation.

Here are my specific questions:

  1. What are the best methods for preparing the soil in a large area with overgrown vegetation to facilitate the establishment of perennial plants from seeds?
  2. Are there any soil amendments or treatments that can help improve soil quality and support the growth of perennial plants in such conditions?
  3. Is it feasible to directly sow perennial plant seeds into the existing vegetation, or should I attempt to clear the area beforehand?
  4. What are some recommended perennial plant species that are resilient and can thrive in areas with challenging soil and vegetation conditions?
  5. Once the seeds are sown, what are the key considerations for watering, maintenance, and weed control to ensure successful establishment of the perennial plants?
  6. Any advice, tips, or resources on this topic would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your help!
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    This applies to your accepted answer. Note that sowing instructions vary by plant species. For example, most penstemons require cool conditions, not warm, to sprout. Whether a seed needs to be scarified or not is also plant-specific. Jelitto Seeds from Germany includes sowing instructions for each plant it sells. You could use that site as a quick reference for whichever seeds you're planting.
    – Jurp
    Feb 17 at 15:23

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Considering that you wish to immediately plant the perennials without a period of overlap, It is not advisable for using herbicides for weeds. So, your best bet would be to burn and compost the weed/ vegetation. Burn any excess weedy plot which you desire to use for planting.

It would be ideal if you denote specifically what kind of perennial vegetation you're going for as there's no thing as one size fits all when concerned to plants.

After burning and composting your plot, there still will be residual roots and other chaffe in the mulch/ soil bed. So, it's advisable for you to CAREFULLY scarify your seeds by scraping of the outer hard coatings of your seeds to provide them a better chance of germination and successful growth. Ensure that you don't scrape too deeply or it will damage the seed.

It's advisable that you start sowing after disappearance of first frost. Seeds require warm, humid conditions to germinate so presence of frost will further serve to hamper your germination rate. If you plan to sow in monsoon you'll probably not need to water them ever but ensure that your soil has sufficient moisture and also, it not overly soggy/ wet.

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  • Note that sowing instructions vary by plant species. For example, most penstemons require cool conditions, not warm, to sprout. Whether a seed needs to be scarified or not is also plant-specific
    – Jurp
    Feb 17 at 15:23
  • I agree @Jurp However, the OP is from Budapest and Penstemons aren't native to the geographic location. Also, I explicitly mentioned OP to detail the perennials they intend to plant.
    – Jayparth
    Feb 17 at 20:42
  • The penstemons were just the first example that popped into my head; note that some of the plants on the plant list on OP's other question were native to North America, not Europe. The way you structured your answer does indeed strongly imply that your steps apply to all plants: see "Seeds require warm, humid conditions to germinate so presence of frost will further serve to hamper your germination rate". Putting a "some" or "many" at the start of that sentence would've been helpful.
    – Jurp
    Feb 18 at 22:58

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