Do you want to order lucerne tree seeds or trees? Please take a few moments to browse through our website as we have very comprehensive information, detailed step-by-step instructions and photos to help inform you in your lucerne tree farming.

Please note ~

  • We post international seeds orders to those countries that are open to international shipping. International mail services and deliveries may take longer than normal due to Covid restrictions and regulations.
  • We only courier trees to clients living in South Africa due to international import and biosecurity regulations.

To order lucerne tree seeds or trees, please fill in the contact form on our Orders page and we will email you all the details.

Inoculant is NOT needed

A new client recently wrote to ask me,

“Can I plant my lucerne tree seeds without bacterial legume inoculant, or do I get nothing at all?”

Simple answer ~ You do NOT need inoculant for seeds to germinate. Germination is completely successful without any inoculant. Your seed contains everything it needs within its body to germinate given the right conditions – water and warmth – and will develop into seedlings with almost nothing extra required.

Inoculant is added to ensure that legumes’ (nitrogen-fixing plants) roots will have the necessary bacteria present to help develop nitrogen-fixing nodules on their roots. And because most healthy soils contain natural rhizobia, it is NOT necessary to add inoculant to your seed germination process as the plant and bacteria naturally occuring in the soil will do their magic and form the symbiotic relationship that will cause the roots to form nitrogen-fixing nodules. I wrote about this process here –Lucerne trees’ nitrogen-fixing nodules.

Should you wish to purchase and add inoculant to your seed germination, please read this post I wrote here – What, Why and How to Inoculate for Rhizobia.

Follow our tried and tested germination instructions by reading all our information, step-by-step process and photos this page – Seeds. We will begin to germinate our lucerne tree seeds now, during autumn. Seeds will germinate and grow slowly through winter and we will have loads of little seedlings come spring. Order your seeds today.

Happy Farming!

Hold your seeds until Spring

P1120686With winter temperatures now upon us in the southern hemisphere, most seeds and plants become dormant.  We would recommend that you hold your seeds until well into spring giving the ground and soils enough opportunity to increase in temperature best suited for optimum seed germination.  With cold soils and even colder water keeping the sand wet, seeds are prone to rot instead of germinating.
Please follow our germination instructions for best results.
  • We soak our seeds in boiling water overnight, remove swollen seeds and repeat the boiling water soaking several times, each time removing the swollen seeds, until almost all the seeds are swollen.  OR
  • We nick the seed coat edge with nail clippers and soak them in boiling water and almost all swell and are ready with one soaking.
Remember that these seedlings and trees hate sitting in water and do not thrive in very soggy soils.  Water lightly  but regularly.  Your climate and soils will determine how much and how often they need watering.
Transplant your seedlings once they have their first true leaves and are about 2cm tall into individual potting bags.
If your potted trees reach 40cm and have nice pencil-thick stems, but are still tender, wait until early summer before planting them out in your land.  Likewise, don’t plant them in late autumn or winter as they may struggle in the frosts and cold.  Hold them in a sheltered spot until late spring before planting them in your lands.
Happy farming!

Proof – new germination method is effective!

Recently we posted our new germination process we recommend which weakens the hard seed coat of the lucerne tree seeds to encourage germination.  This new scarification process has  2 simple steps –

  1. Nick (cut or snip off) the edge of the seed with a clipper or sharp blade and then
  2. Soak the seeds in hot tap water (not boiling water) overnight

We have been doing several trials to test this process and below are the photos to show how effective it is when one nicks or snips off the top edge of the hard seed coat.


Within 1 hour, the nicked seeds were already swelling and by the next morning all the seeds were swollen and ready for planting.  Compared to the control batch of seeds simply soaked in hot tap water.

20180317_121948-001A few seeds in the uncut control batch did swell, but when I took those out, I saw that 2 had broken seed coats and the other 2 were some of the nicked seeds that fell back into my seed container as I worked.

Please use both scarification methods when you want to germinate your seeds for optimum seed germination.

Life is in the seed!

Scarification germination process

Lucerne tree seeds are naturally very hard-shelled seeds and require a process called scarification to encourage germination.  Up till now we have only soaked the seeds, but to encourage much better germination results, we now recommend you nick or cut the edge of each seed before soaking.

We nick (cut) the edge of the seed with a clipper or sharp blade and then soak the seeds in hot tap water overnight to weaken the hard seed coat of the seed to encourage germination.

Watch a video on how to nick the seed coat ~ https://youtu.be/H0mfi5NyvVI


Here are our updated germination instructions ~

Only start the germination process when you are ready to plant your seeds into seed trays or potting bags.  Work with batches of  + 100 seeds at a time.

  1. Nick the edge of each seed with a nail clipper or sharp blade. Only cut off the edge of the seed coat and do not cut into the seed itself. Do not cut the the white germ edge.
  2. Soak the cut seeds in a bowl filled with hot tap water overnight.
  3. Plant out the swollen seeds the next day in seed trays or potting bags filled with coarse river sand.  Do NOT use potting soil.
  4. Use a stick & make rows roughly 5mm (0.5cm) deep and place the seeds in these rows & cover lightly with sand.  Seeds planted too deep do not germinate easily!
  5. Water lightly regularly & do not to let the soil dry out.
  6. Seeds usually germinate within 15 days.
  7. Wait at least 40 days for maximum germination before potting out seedlings into individual 1-litre potting bags. Use a mix of coarse sand and potting soil.
  8. Dig deep under the seedlings to loosen the soil and gently lift each seedling out of the potting soil. Do not pull the seedlings up from the tray as this will damage the roots.
  9. Wait till these potted trees are at least 40cm tall with pencil-thick stems before planting them out in your lands. This can take about 4 months.
  10. Keep watering the remaining germination sand because the slower seeds may still germinate!

Download these germination instructions ~ Germination Instructions 2018

Life is in the seed!