Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Native Seeds

I found this place that offers native seeds. They are not cheap, but a little bit goes a long way ...

This perennial wildflower mix can be sown in autumn to bloom in spring with tall flowers around 36-40 inches high. They have other thematic blends too.

This Midwest wildflower mix is somewhat shorter, 24-30 inches high. They have blends for all different regions.

Red clover is recommended for late winter to early spring sowing. We have some here and it gets about knee-high. This is one of the cheaper seeds. Sometimes we can find big bags of red clover at the farm stores, so that's a possibility as a carrier for more expensive natives.

Illinois bundleflower is a new one for me, and a nitrogen fixer. I am tempted by this to vary up the clovers.

They have many types of native grass seeds. We are thinking about adding more native grass seed to the prairie garden, probably in at least two patches of differing heights because diversity is a good thing.

Big bluestem is a favorite, reaching 4-7 feet tall. I'm pretty sure mine is growing 6-7 feet because it is way over my head by late summer.

Little bluestem is similar but shorter, only 2-4 feet. Again mine is toward the upper end of this range. This one needs to be planted as early in spring as possible, and needs high mowing to discourage weeds until it is well established.

I am also quite fond of sideoats grama, but regrettably it's only offered in larger quantities by itself.

There is a shortgrass prairie blend of blue grama, sideoats grama, and buffalo grass which grows 12-24 inches high and mixes well with wildflowers. This would be a good combination with the Midwest wildflower mix, and can be planted in late spring to early summer with wildflowers. By itself it can be sown in late spring to midsummer.

The tall native grass blend is probably the closest to what grew here historically with a mix of big bluestem, little bluestem, Indian grass, and switchgrass. This would go well with the perennial wildflower mix, and it can be planted in late spring to early summer with wildflowers. By itself it can be sown in late spring to midsummer.

Ironically, what originally attracted my attention to this site was their xeriscape grass blend, which is meant for lawns but actually consists of two native grasses. Buffalo grass is a fine-leaved grass reaching 4-8 inches high. Blue grama grows 3-6 inches high. Sow When sustained soil temperature reaches 60 degrees and minimum of 8 - 12 weeks before frost. We are seriously considering this as a grass blend to cover bare patches in our lawn.
Tags: gardening, illinois, nature, personal
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