Methods of Restoration with Autochtonous Seed Material for a High Ecological Value
Hay-mulch seeding: Application of seed-bearing, fresh hay from a suitable donor area.
Heudrusch®-seeding: Application of a seed blend, which was gained from a suitable donor area using a special threshing procedure, containing folios, stems and glumes.
Native seeds: Seeds from exactly defined origins; must not mixed with seeds from other origins. Indigenous seed is either collected from natural sources or originates from regionally breeded crops.
Seeds of agriculturally harvested hay: A very old method, which is rather unreliable with regard to restoration techniques, and where seeds are collected from hay stored in barns. This method is not used nowadays.
Grassland topsoil: Application of seed and root bearing grassland topsoil to an area to be revegetated. The "donor soils" are taken from areas with a vegetation adequate to that one of the area to be grassed. The application of only little quantities is called "vaccination".
Sod transplantation: Living grassland sods are taken from suitable donor areas and transferred to the area to be planted with vegetation. With this method, the complete vegetation phythocenosis is transferred, but it is rather laborious, and therefore, cannot be realized in most cases, because it is too expensive. Moreover, the vegetation on the donor areas is destroyed, and this is why only such areas are considered, which are planned to be changed anyway (e.g. replacing of dykes).
Principally, every procedure has advantages and disadvantages, which are to be considered. Then, there is the problem of availability. If you contemplate economical and ecological aspects, the two procedures mentioned first are to be preferred. This is why the hay-mulch and the Heudrusch® - methods meanwhile are very common in establishing autochthonous vegetation. It is conceivable and what we hope, that these procedures will be increasingly applied in future, too.