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Native plants in Brooklyn such as wildflower meadows are fast disappearing due to human activities like chemical application, agribusiness, urban development, and the likes. This in turn has led erosion, a disconnection of people to the land, reduced genetic diversity that is necessary for a balanced ecosystem, and loss of wildlife habitat. This notwithstanding, you can still turn your yard into a native plant landscape by planting wildflower meadows. The diversity of wildflower meadows and their eye-catching colors can help turn a boring yard into the best and most attractive around a neighborhood.
Unfortunately, planting just a few plants in your yard does not give the best results where wildflower meadows are concerned. These plants take a number of years to fully adapt to the environmental conditions of an area. It also takes years for these plants to develop complex associations with the surrounding plants, microorganisms and animals. Planted wildflower meadows however can rival the natural growing varieties and result into many low maintenance merits over time. However, this is only after the plants have established appropriately to fit with the surrounding plants. Do you need some recommendations for establishing wildflower meadows in sunny, open and well-drained areas?
But before getting started, it is good to note that natural meadows perform well in areas like prairies or alpine slopes, where environmental features are able to bring to an end the natural succession of unwanted plants and limit the growth of woody species. Because the majority of meadow plants are in transitional stage, in time, they are replaced by trees and shrubs. To maintain a proper wildflower meadow garden at your yard over time, it is recommended that you manage them well.
The majority of meadow gardeners struggle to have a good field of wildflowers die to a number of factors, with limiting native grass growth being one of them. What they fail to realize is that grasses are an important constituent of a self-sustaining and low-maintained wildflower meadow yard. A wildflower meadow gardener needs to encourage desirable native grasses in their yards so as to discourage the proliferation of destructive non-native grasses that only lead to the death of the meadow plants.
Choosing the right wildflower meadows
Wildflower meadows are a complex and interactive plants that do well when planted in a group. However, they are not just a group of individual plants. Make sure to select a combination of native wildflower species and that with time can be able to sort themselves out naturally. Species that best adapt to your area are the ones that flourish over time, and thus need to be chosen. Before planting the meadows, make a point of inventorying the garden and the microhabitats in it. Because low-lying wet areas, shady areas, and open fields all require different plant varieties, it pays to first determine which plants best suits each area.
Make sure to plant biennials, annuals and perennials where wildflower meadows are concerned. Also ensure to plant an assortment of native meadow species that can be able offer color all through the growing season. And if in doubt of which plants to opt for, simply do some research so as to ensure that the plant varieties you have selected are not on your state’s poisonous weed list as planting can be very dangerous to people and animals around your home.
Which are the native grasses that do well with wildflower meadows?
There are quite a number of native grasses that allow room for wildflowers proliferation. These include buffalo grasses, big bluestem, sideoats grama and lindheimer muhly. Apart from allowing room for wildflower meadow propagation, these grasses also offer gaps for herbaceous plant establishment. Non-native grasses like annual rye and St. Augustine are too aggressive to allow the meadows to become properly established. This is because they produce a lot of seeds in late spring or early summer when they mature, giving unfair competition to meadows that grows during the cold months of the year. Warm-season grasses and other plants restart growing in late-spring and go on growing until early fall. They go on to produce a lot of foliage in summer months, making them the best as they do not compete for food with wildflower meadows.
Preparing the soil for planting
Once you have selected the meadows that are suitable to the microhabitats in your area, you can be assured that they will do well without soil improvement once they are established. Meadow species such as bluebonnet do very well when the soils have been tilled. Plant your wildflower meadows as well as the native grass immediately the competing vegetation has been brought under control.
The best season for planting wildflower meadows in Brooklyn is fall. However, note that some seeds require a chilling phase so as to break out of their dormancy. Others have tough seeds that require scarifying or wearing down to allow their germination. But whichever the case, sowing wildflower meadow seeds in the fall offers the best conditions that are required to break out the seed dormancy.
That said, wet and warm spring weather encourages the seeds to start germinating. Native wildflower meadows ideally must be planted following the nature’s seeding schedule. If rains do not fall within a couple of days after sowing the seeds, make sure to water the site thoroughly, at least once, for them to properly germinate.