Mark was recently asked to tell us more about seed dispersal.
“Are there any ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ when it comes to dispersing seeds?”
Mark’s experience and opinion:
About aimless seed dispersal, by humans, I believe it is not such a good idea. This is my view, but I am conservative when it comes to ecology.
Birds do this very well without our intervention. In the wet, tropical rainforest, this is essential for the health of the forest. Without the Cassowary (native Australian birds), we would not have a healthy forest, as they disperse the native tree seeds.
Generally, I do not support random, uncoordinated dispersal of any seeds of any sort, without a plan that accounts for the risks and problems that may arise.
Luckily, most fruit seeds will not germinate under our conditions (in Australia) with little or no water. But, others will explode!
We have to control our Italian Parsely and Rocket herbs in our vegetable garden, as they spread into the surrounding areas quickly. We have Blackberry thickets in many high rainfall areas that are out of control.
Very often, we cannot see the pitfalls until after they arise. On our country block, we plant only native seed or seedlings growing locally and collected for that purpose.
We do not introduce new species or seeds from different regions (especially from exotic locations). Foreign seeds can contain fungi, bacteria, viruses, and insects. They generate more seeds after flowering, which cause significant and sometimes devastating consequences for native ecosystems and farmers alike. In my work, as a landscape architect, I avoided planting any environmental weeds, including bamboo.
As for ‘Guerilla Gardening’, it can be disrespectful to the community’s interests – which are many and varied.
I think it is important to promote responsible practice in all areas of life.
Respecting local attitudes and conventions is very important. As is being mindful of unintended consequences.