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Gardening expert calls out big box store for misleading seed labels: 'They can often contain ... species that are just outright banned'

"There's so much shenanigans going on in seed mixes and just misleading language."

"There's so much shenanigans going on in seed mixes and just misleading language."

Photo Credit: TikTok

A native plant expert sparked an important conversation with a post about misleading seed labels.

Mr. Bloom (@sfinbloom) shared a clip from another user who decried Walmart's seed mixes as unhelpful for the environment and talked about the issue for nearly two minutes. But the big box retailer isn't the only culprit.

"I found myself making the same discovery: that there's so much shenanigans going on in seed mixes and just misleading language," he said. "So, thank you for being responsible and looking up your seed mixes and seeing that even though they were marketed for your state, for your region, they still contain just random flowers. ... They can often contain invasive species that are just outright banned in some places because they're so disruptive to the local ecosystem."

@sfinbloom #stitch with @chris! #seedshenanigans So many misleading seed mixes, this changed the course of my life leading me to offer native seed mixes by region so people inspired to plant could do it responsibly. #πŸ§‚πŸŒ±πŸŒΈπŸ ♬ original sound - Mr. Bloom

Mr. Bloom touted wildflowers native to your region β€” "the more specific and hyperlocal the better" β€” and said local nurseries and extension offices are great resources that can help you find native seed mixes.

Such products are becoming increasingly popular as people around the world look to rewild or xeriscape their yards in service of Earth, which is experiencing warmer temperatures as a result of human-caused pollution.

Clover and buffalo grass are just a couple of alternatives to traditional turf that can also save you money and time on water and maintenance. They're all better for pollinators and other wildlife.

Prairie Nursery noted that native seedlings from mixes may not grow much in their first year as they establish root systems and that weeds and weed lookalikes could dominate the second year as well.

"After the second or third growing season the natives begin to reign," according to the site. "It is important to have patience, but even more important is to discourage the growth of weeds during the establishment phase of the first three to four years. The land stewardship experience is a process of discovery that restores ecological health and biodiversity to your land β€” creating a legacy of joy and beauty, for years to come."

Commenters shared praise for the post and their experiences with sorting native from invasive seeds.

"When I bought seeds at Lowes I looked up seeds that were native in eastern Oklahoma," one advised. "And I used a website that was recommended by planttok."

Another wrote: "I love this!"

"Thanks for being responsible, and thanks for everyone who has been joining this movement," Mr. Bloom said in closing. "Y'all are super awesome."

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