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Direct Seed Plant Shelters


Direct seeding of native plants and shrubs is essential for the development of a strong natural root system. A natural root system is far superior to those on bareroot or containerized seedlings. On species with taproots, survival of the tiny seedlings is dependent on the root system penetrating down to deep moisture levels. In our article on Acorn Collection, Storage, Sorting, and Planting the importance of the taproot is explained.


Blue X 12

Direct seeding into the landscape ensures that the taproot has an opportunity to grow and develop naturally unlike nursery grown seedlings. Usual nursery methods result in a terminated taproot which never regenerates, even when the seedling is planted in the ground.


Advantages of direct seeding of native plants:

  • Supplemental irrigation is NOT required
  • Plants develop a strong natural root system
  • Seeds can be obtained for a fraction of the cost of nursery grown seedlings
  • Seeds do not require the special handling required for shipping and storing containerized or bareroot seedlings
  • Planting time is determined by the planter, not nursery availability
  • Seeds are easier to transport to the planting site


More information on direct seeding.


Direct seeding in large scale or wildland plantings has often been thought to be impractical because of the high cost associated with each unit planted compared to the number of trees successfully grown. Germination rates could not be predicted. Growers were reluctant to invest in high-cost old style tree shelters for seeds that might not be successful. But without tree shelters, large numbers of seeds were lost to rodents.


BLUE-X® has made direct seeding into the landscape more efficient with the introduction of a revolutionary new design for a plant shelter. The BLUE-X® Direct Seed Plant Shelter consists of two plastic parts that can be quickly assembled and installed in the field. The stakeless design eliminates the need for carrying bulky and heavy stakes into the field, allowing the planter to carry more shelters instead.


Why choose the BLUE-X® Direct Seed Plant Shelter solution?

  • Provide protection from rodents and other herbivores.
  • Speed up growth by creating a beneficial micro-climate around each plant.
  • Provide protection from the harmful effects of the wind.
  • Store flat for shipping and transport to planting site.
  • Are easily assembled in the field.
  • Offer a low cost alternative to nursery grown seedlings.
  • Block transmission of a significant amount of harmful UV light. Click here for more information on the importance of blue light.


It is now possible to commercially upgrade seeds, so that only those seeds with the greatest likelihood of germinating are planted. This can be done for a very reasonable cost. Seed upgrading can increase germination rates to 95%+ on most species, so that the seeds you plant with BLUE-X® will have the best possible chance of successful growth.


Seed upgrading plus BLUE-X® Direct Seed Plant Shelters and the complete BLUE-X® growing method will result in predictable germination rates and survival of your plants. Direct seeding is economical, and results in superior plants. The seeds at planting can be precisely placed, so thinning is not necessary. Resources are not wasted on unsuccessful units.


Any size BLUE-X® shelters can be used for Direct Seeding.