Seeding Sheep Sorrel (Rumex acetosella)
Answered by: Richard Alan Miller
Question from: Ingrid Gaida
Posted on: February 12, 2004

I have another question to ask. I have to seed 2 acres with sheep sorrel and would like to use a seed drill with grass attachment. However the seed is so small (2200 seeds/gram) that it might get all over the place. Would you have a suggestion how best to seed it (only one person available, me)? Also, would a swather be possible without bruising the plant?

I have, in the past, mixed sand with smaller seed for drilling situations. But I have also found that to be more unstable for germination and uniformity of drill. Catnip NEVER worked this way. I have found my best luck for perennials comes from transplanting plugs from a winter greenhouse boot-up. Mostly, I only drill annuals.

Rather than swathe, I might recommend a rotary mowing action, using a vacuum pickup for the leaf. John Deere and others make these tools and additions to most of their line of tractors. If the crown is left untouched, the plant continues to grow normally and with good production outputs.

Swathing is often preferred in some situations, as a scissor cut will leave the plant less "bruised." However, collection of smaller leaf is also far more difficult to windrow than normal vacuum collections. A rotary action is also not that bad on such crops as sorrel. Just watch what happens to the crowns when using these techniques.

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