Red Deer County News

Posted on: March 26, 2018

What's In Your Seed Mix?

Seeds (1)

Are you unknowingly spreading weeds?

The time has come for many an avid gardener to finally order their seeds for the upcoming season. The most dedicated gardeners have most likely been skimming over catalogs and online product lists for months. Planning and developing their thoughts for the long awaited spring to finally arrive.

With online resources being so prevalent now, it allows gardeners access to an abundance of plant seeds that were impossible to acquire in the past. While this presents exciting opportunities for beautiful and exotic additions to our northern gardens, it also presents many over-looked issues. For example, online seed banks cannot possibly stay current on the weed legislation for each of their customers’ areas. This is where the responsibility falls on the consumer, you! Familiarize yourself with the legislated weeds by searching for the Alberta Weed Act and Regulations. Cross reference this list with the plants you’ve had your eye on to make sure they aren’t regulated.

Not only do we run the risk of introducing a very invasive plant, but we could even accidentally introduce weeds through simple seed contamination. Most reputable seed retailers will have some sort of purity guarantee. This should be one of the first things you look for.

Worst of all are wildflower seed mixes. While many claim to contain native species, often these have some weedy plants mixed in because they produce attractive blooms. Best to avoid any mixes that don’t list the Latin names of the plants they contain. In fact, it’s best to make your own mixes using plants you know are native. Ultimately the responsibility to plant weed-free flower mixes lies with the customer. So make sure to check your sources!

For more information, contact Red Deer County Ag Services at 403.342.8654 or visit

Happy planting!

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