There is an ephemeral stream running parallel with the road on my property. I realized this winter that feral ligustrum had sprouted up all along the western end, so I pulled all that out. It’s a nice space without the Japanese stilt grass (Microstegium vimineum), poison ivy, and common dogbane (Apocynum cannabinum); I decided to accept the challenge and try some native plantings.
I bought some seeds and plants from Prairie Moon Nursery:
- Creek Sedge (Carex amphibola) plants
- Fox Sedge (Carex vulpinoidea) plants
- Awl Fruited Sedge (Carex stipata) seed
- Wild Iris (Iris shrevei) seed
- Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor) seed
- Ox Eye Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides) seed
- Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) seed
- Wild Quinine (Parthenium integrifolium) seed
Fair warning: the smallest seed package the PM sells is 0.25 oz, and that is A LOT of seeds.
The iris have to be cold-stratified for 90 days! So that will be planted this fall. The other seeds needed just 30 days; the creek and fox sedge were only available as plants that arrived Thursday 18-April. I’m taking the short-run seeds out of the refrigerator today (21-April) and planting them in flats.
Here is the rough plan, not to scale. (If anyone can recommend a simple drawing program that allows text editing, please let me know. It was taking WAY too long to draw this in a program.)
- Creek Sedge: wet, shade, 1-2 ft H, space 1.5 ft
- Fox Sedge: wet-moist, full sun, 1-3 ft H, space 1.5 ft
- Awl Fruited Sedge: wet, full-part sun, 1-3 ft H, space 1 ft
- Iris (both): wet, full-part sun, 2-3 ft H, space 1 ft
- Wild Quinine: med-moist, full sun, 3-5 ft H, space 1.5 ft
- Ox Eye Sunflower: dry-moist, full sun, 3-6 ft H, space 1 ft
- Switchgrass: dry-moist, full sun, 3-6 ft H, space 2 ft
I’ve spent the afternoon cleaning up the area and mowing. Here’s some ‘after’ shots.
I planted the creek and fox sedge along the stream, but they are so small it wasn’t worth a picture. The seedlings should be ready in a month or so, although I am seriously thinking about sowing the rest of the switchgrass seed into the most western part of the lot.
I’ll post progress pictures, as long as the invasives don’t win again. 🙂