Native Gardening

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by JBtheExplorer, May 17, 2016.

  1. JBtheExplorer

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,577
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    Lisa, I love so many of the tall beautiful grasses, but I've seen and heard horror stories of trying to divide them or keep them from spreading, etc.
    JB, I bought a "native grass" a couple of years ago at our local Rural King. Things were on clearance, and it just jumped out at me! I'm not even sure what type it is, as the name was on the pot, and I forgot to save it. But, so far it has stayed put where I put it, not reseeding or spreading, so I love it! And, it's small ... only about 2' tall. AND, it gets reddish leaves in the fall. Win-win!
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 6, 2018
    1. Advertisements

  2. JBtheExplorer

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,577
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    Good call on both plants, JB. The liatris is a wonderful plant for bees and butterflies. I'm growing 2 cultivated varieties this year from seed, see if they grow true to their color, but mainly I'm excited to have grabbed some seeds from wild liatris. I'll have to try to get it ID'd as to which variety. I know it grows tall, 4-5' and blooms about a month after the plants I bought, and those purchased plants only get to be about 2' tall. On Prairie Moon, it looks like Prairie Blazing Star is what I collected in a wild flower area along the highway, next to the railroad tracks. It's Liatris pycnostachya, although the Marsh Blazing Star, Liatris spicata is taller according to their guide.
    Curious, has anyone ever grown the snow on the mountain and had luck with it? I'm wondering if what my sister had was a totally different plant or variety, and called the same thing. But, hers was soooo invasive. I know lots of native plants can be invasive if allowed to take off untethered! Most often, though, the idea is to have enough competition to hold everything in check. ;)
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 6, 2018
    1. Advertisements

  3. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin

    Fires aren't for keeping native plants under control. Natives will actually greatly benefit from fire. What fires are really for is killing off any aggressive weeds as well as trees that have grown in with the natives. The native species will typically grow stronger after a fire because they have less competition from plants that aren't supposed to be there. Our DNR does prescribed burns in prairies every few years. Without fire, prairie wouldn't exist.

    Fires aren't necessary for gardens or miniature restorations that are small enough that we can keep an eye on and easily remove aggressive weeds or tree saplings before they become a problem.

    My garden isn't old enough to find which native species will be more successful than others, but yes, like anything, sometimes you may find one that spreads too quickly. Those will probably be fairly obvious fairly quickly. I had Frost Aster in my garden for one season and it showed that it was going to be too aggressive for my taste so I removed it immediately. It seems that natives that spread quickest are often the ones that spread by rhizome. Some goldenrods fall into that category. I've heard of Big Bluestem being an issue. They can be aggressive enough to create a monoculture. Goldenrods also benefit the largest number of pollinators, so it's all about finding what's right for you. Not all goldenrods are as aggressive.

    IMG_1720 copy.jpg


    There are also heavy self-seeders, but that's a considerably easier problem to have, since you can simply cut the seedheads off as soon as the flowers are done blooming. If you have a thickly planted garden, most seeds would struggle to grow under the dark canopy of mature plants.

    Of course, depending on the situation, growing "too well" is not necessarily a problem. I have Wild Strawberry and Common Blue Violets in my garden. Wild Strawberry started with about 6 plants a few years ago and now covers almost the entire east garden. I'm ok with that. I'm hoping the violets do the same to my west garden. I want the lower layer of my garden to be thick enough to help limit weeds.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Feb 6, 2018
    j.w and CountryEscape like this.
  4. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    This is actually one of the biggest myths about native plants. Truth is, natives are no more likely to spread aggressively than any non-native plant in suitable conditions. All plants exist by spreading at a rate that gives them a reasonable chance to compete with other plants. The only plants that wont spread are sterilized hybrids and cultivars, which I have a hard time considering to be real plants because they've been so altered. Many can't even produce nectar for pollinators.

    I also never use the term "invasive" for native species, because you'll never see natives listed as "invasive species", since they belong here. Wisconsin's Department of Natural Resources says "When non-native plants, animals, or pathogens rapidly takes over a new location and alter the ecosystem, we consider them invasive species."
     
    JBtheExplorer, Feb 6, 2018
    j.w, Becky and CountryEscape like this.
  5. JBtheExplorer

    mrsclem mrsclem

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    2,128
    Location:
    st. mary's county, md.
    20180221_122035.jpg As we are close to the migration path of the monarch butterflies, I have been trying to raise some milkweed plants. I harvested some seeds from some local plants and had no luck getting them to grow and yet I had several plants show up in an area below where I tried to germinate mine. I bought several varieties of seeds this year and put them in the fridge for 2 weeks. Planted them and was willing to wait the 2-4 weeks for sprouts. 5 days in and sprouts! Its been 10 days and have seedlings from all varieties growing.
     
    mrsclem, Feb 21, 2018
    addy1, CountryEscape, Tula and 2 others like this.
  6. JBtheExplorer

    JamieB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    North Oklahoma
    To be cold stratified, do the seeds have to be planted first? Or just chilled? The wild seeds still on the vine I gathered are now in a ziplock, sitting out with the other plants in the gazebo.
     
    JamieB, Feb 21, 2018
  7. JBtheExplorer

    mrsclem mrsclem

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2008
    Messages:
    2,489
    Likes Received:
    2,128
    Location:
    st. mary's county, md.
    I just put my seeds in the fridge. It's amazing that the seed companies don't tell you that the seeds need to be stratified.
     
    mrsclem, Feb 21, 2018
  8. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    I put my seeds in wet paper towel and slide that into a ziplock bag that I close 2/3 of the way. I actually just took all my seeds out after 2 months. Hoping to see them start growing within a week. Some of my seeds will need light to germinate, so it may take them a little longer.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Feb 22, 2018
  9. JBtheExplorer

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,577
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    I think the seed company that I love on-line has different time periods (30/60/90 days) for different types of seeds. For most natives that need cold stratification, you can direct sow them in the fall, if you have a bed prepared, or you can winter sow them like I did, and do that in Jan/Feb. (I'm zone 6a - south central IL) and you don't have to worry about cold stratification, because the weather does it for you. If you want to jump start them, as JB said, put them in damp paper towels in the fridge/freezer. The Wildflower Farm seed Company says in fridge for one day, then freezer, then fridge, for a week and they will be ready to go if only need 30 days stratification. Some need longer, but most milkweeds are good with that. I have all of mine in winter sown jugs outside. I won't have to worry about hardening them off, they will grow hardened off. LOL And, I won't have to worry about too much light, not enough light, etc. either. Mother Nature takes care of that for me for free. I won't have to water them unless it doesn't rain and then not until after I have seedlings. It's so easy and so much fun!
    Here's the website:
    http://www.wildflowerfarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=54
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 22, 2018
  10. JBtheExplorer

    JamieB

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2017
    Messages:
    858
    Likes Received:
    490
    Location:
    North Oklahoma
    I was thinking if the pitcher clematis growing wild. I gathered some of the seed spikes, they hadn’t fallen off the vine yet, birds hadn’t ate them. But it says they need cold stratified. I may go toss a few around the tree and along the porch where I’d like them to grow, see if that works.
     
    JamieB, Feb 22, 2018
  11. JBtheExplorer

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,577
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    @JamieB that should work. The seeds were cold stratified in the winter all by themselves. I guess they didn't have the moist cold, like they would on the ground, but I'd put them on the ground and give them a chance. Good luck!
     
    CountryEscape, Feb 23, 2018
  12. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    and so it begins. New native seedlings are just beginning to grow.


    Blue Giant Hyssop. Easy to grow, smells like licorice, and great for a wide variety of pollinators!
    IMG_7356 copy.jpg
     
    JBtheExplorer, Feb 26, 2018
    CountryEscape and Becky like this.
  13. JBtheExplorer

    CountryEscape

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2011
    Messages:
    7,144
    Likes Received:
    4,577
    Location:
    near Effingham, Illinois
    JB, those are perennials, right? I think I have that on my "want" list from our native plant sale in April. :)
     
    CountryEscape, Mar 6, 2018
  14. JBtheExplorer

    addy1 water gardener / gold fish and shubunkins Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Messages:
    33,203
    Likes Received:
    17,820
    Location:
    Frederick, Maryland
    I have it growing, started from just tossing out seeds, sometimes it comes back sometimes it does not.
     
    addy1, Mar 6, 2018
  15. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Yes. It's a perennial in the mint family. I bought one last year in the native plant section of a local garden center, Then collected hundreds of seeds last autumn. Also let a lot of them fall out in the garden. I've read that it can be a heavy self-seeder, which is great.

    IMG_4422 copy.jpg
     
    JBtheExplorer, Mar 6, 2018
  16. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Over on my native garden's twitter page (yes, my native garden has it's own twitter page), I've started to celebrate made-up days to showcase certain species. Today is #LongheadedConeflowerWednesday. I thought I might start celebrating these made-up days here as well. Happy Long-headed Coneflower Wednesday everyone! :)

    IMG_4916 copy.jpg
    IMG_6270 copy.jpg
    IMG_4951 copy.jpg
    IMG_4918 copy.jpg
    IMG_2866 copy.jpg

    Unfortunately, they don't thrive in my garden as much as I'd like. They have a reputation of self-seeding quite heavily, but I haven't had that happen. I've gotten three plants from self-seeding and they never grow to their full potential. Might need to find a new location for them because I don't want to lose them. I really wanted them to fill in throughout the garden, but that may not be an option.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Mar 8, 2018
    Tula, j.w and Becky like this.
  17. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Received my Prairie Moon Nursery catalog today. Definitely recommend it for those new to native gardening. So many great North American native plants to choose from! I talk about them probably more than any other nursery, but there's a reason for that! I desperately wish I had a local nursery like them. Then again, I'd want to buy more plants than I have room for!
    IMG_7445 copy.jpg
     
    JBtheExplorer, Mar 12, 2018
  18. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Got around 250 seedlings growing.
    IMG_7446 copy.jpg

    Blue Giant Hyssop is what I'm growing the most of. Not only will I be planting a lot of them, but I plan on giving quite a few to people I know as well as selling some. This is a pollinator magnet. All kinds of bee species like it, as well as butterflies.
    IMG_7448 copy.jpg


    I bought a Prairie Smoke plant last spring and it produced a few seeds so I collected them. Five of seven germinated.
    IMG_7449 copy.jpg

    I'm growing New England Aster just to try to sell it. I sold a few last year. It's easy to grow from seed and it grows relatively fast and often blooms in its first season. I grew a ton of it my in native garden last year. It's a great late-season pollinator magnet.
    IMG_7451 copy.jpg


    Prairie Coreopsis is something I've wanted to try for the last couple years. Unfortunately, germination was mostly a fail. 6 seedlings of 20 seeds. Still, those six plants will produce plenty of seed to try again in the future. One or two of these will be going by the pond.
    IMG_7453 copy.jpg


    I decided to grow another handful of Bush's Coneflower this year. Not quite sure at this point if they'll be going in my garden or if I'll be giving them to family members, but I figured I'd grow some either way and decide later.
    IMG_7454 copy.jpg


    Other than that, I'm also growing some Butterflyweed, Swamp Milkweed, and a lot of Great Blue Lobelia. Also growing Rocky Mountain Penstemon as a gift, but I may keep a couple and see if I like it and if it attracts a reasonable amount of pollinators. It'll be going in by my pond.
     
    JBtheExplorer, Mar 16, 2018
    Becky likes this.
  19. JBtheExplorer

    JBtheExplorer Native Gardener

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2013
    Messages:
    3,496
    Likes Received:
    5,689
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    My seedlings have grown quite a bit! I started them about 6 weeks ago, and they'll be planted outside in about 6 more, you know, if Winter decides to leave.

    IMG_7562 copy.jpg
     
    JBtheExplorer, Apr 3, 2018
  20. JBtheExplorer

    Lisak1

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2013
    Messages:
    6,552
    Likes Received:
    7,355
    Location:
    Northern IL
    They look beautiful! I'm wintersowing a few varieties of milkweed - so far, nothing. Not surprising considering the weather!
     
    Lisak1, Apr 3, 2018
    JBtheExplorer likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.