While many people think of planting in the summer, native seed plantings perform well when installed in the late fall when soil temperatures fall below 50 degrees. This allows the seed to go through its natural stratification process during the winter months and encourages germination the following spring. This helps the seed germinate and develop effective root systems while there is ample seasonal moisture. This helps create a low maintenance installation that does not require additional watering throughout the summer.
One of the keys of a successful native seed planting is proper preparation, which should ideally occur over a spring, summer and fall. The goal of site preparation is to reduce the quantity of undesirable plants as much as possible. Weed eradication can occur through several methods - herbicide application (organic or synthetic), solarization or removal by hand. Weeds germinate at different temperatures, so it is crucial that weeds are controlled over all three seasons to ensure both cool season and warm season weeds are targeted. When preparing the area, it is also crucial that no weeds be allowed to go to seed. If for some reason, you cannot find the time to remove the weeds before they flower, you can mow them or clip the flowers to keep them from producing seed and then remove when you have the time. When eradicating weeds, you want to make sure there is minimal soil disturbance. Tilling or digging up the soil will bring up the existing weed seed to the soil surface where it will germinate. As long as the weed seed remains deep enough so it doesnt germinate, it will not impact the success of the native planting.
Dead vegetation will need to be lightly raked and removed from the seeding site.The seed needs to have direct contact with the soil, so it is essential that there is not any thatch or vegetation that would prevent seed to soil contact.
When you are ready to plant these instructions will help and feel free to reach out to us any time with questions. We are here to support you and help you establish a successful native habitat.
You can purchase your seed now and store it in a cool, dry location. We have native seed for all sites and conditions and are happy to assist you in selecting the best mix for your project.
If you have any more questions on site preparation or which seed mix you should select, feel free to give us a call at 866-569-3380 or Ask the Prairie Guys!