A Tale of A First Year Planting - with Photos!

August 4, 2016

At Ohio Prairie Nursery, we strive to make native grasses and wildflowers accessible to all customers in all different types of landscapes. Whether it be a large meadow or a smaller mulch bed, hearing stories about successful seedings makes it all worthwhile for us and supports our mission of creating areas using native wildflowers and native grasses and supporting all types of wildlife.

Case in point, we had a customer reach out to us not too long ago on Facebook with questions about a planting they did in early spring. This led to awesome conversation about how they prepped the area, the growth they've seen thus far and how they are working towards fostering long term habitat for their beehives on their property.

Greg and Sharon began prepping their 16' x 16' area last summer by tarping the location they wanted to seed. This method generally works to smother any existing vegetation. They lifted the tarp in mid-May to a mostly bare dirt area and used a thatching rake to further prep the area and keep weed growth down.

Greg and Sharon keep several beehives on their property and their seed selection reflected their objective of creating a foraging spot for those bees. They seeded our Ohio Pollinator Oasis Seed Mix in mid-May. This particular mix is crafted to bloom spring through fall to create a safe place for bees and other pollinators to land all season long.

A month of watching and waiting brought questions about being able to ID what was starting to grow and pulling (using their trusty thatch rake!) what didn't belong.  This particular native seed mix is blended with a mix of annuals that generally germinate and flower the first growing season. Sharon sent beautiful pictures of Partridge Pea and Indian Blanket in bloom!

As the summer went on, our conversation with Sharon continued as she sent pictures of Ox-Eye Sunflower in bloom and other pictures of a healthy native seeding progressing nicely for its first year. To our suprise, she also sent pictures of Butterfly Milkweed, Swamp Milkweed and Common Milkweed in bloom! These species typically don't bloom until the second or third growing season, but put down roots and flowered beautifully. She's now on the hunt for Monarch caterpillars!

Their excitment is evident, and Sharon is never without her phone when she's out walking around the prairie area! Greg is continuing to manage the area for any unwanted species and they are currently working towards converting more areas of their property to native plants, concentrating on more pollinator areas, native grasses and shadier areas. We can't wait to see what next year will look like!

We're thrilled Greg and Sharon wanted to share their story with us and all of you that may be thinking about using native seed in your landscape. Please enjoy the pictures they've sent and if you have any questions about using native wildflower or native grass seed on your property, please feel free to Ask the Prairie Guys or contact us on Facebook!

Thanks again Greg and Sharon and Prairie On!

 

The tarped area last summer.
The tarp has been removed! (Mid-May)
Greg using his thatch rake to prep the area for seeding.
Things are starting to happen!
Early germination.
Greg hand pulling crabgrass. First year maintenance is crucial to a successful planting.
Greg's trusty thatch rake!
The growth continues.
It's looking very healthy with many identifiable native species!
Partridge Pea!
Indian Blanket!
Butterfly Milkweed!
Can you spot the Common Milkweed?
Beautiful Swamp Milkweed doing its job!
Greg and Sharon's beehives.
Hey Greg and Sharon! Thanks for sharing! It looks awesome!