turning hayfield into prairie

stacwase(4 MI)April 22, 2005

I recently bought a farm with about 5 acres of hayfield on it. The hayfield gradually turns into a sunny bog, as the land slopes downward. In the center of the bog, there is even a small (20X60?) marsh. The wetlands attract copious wildlife, including sandhill cranes which I am particularly fond of.

I think I would like to turn part or all of the hayfield into a meadow or prairie, and I was wondering how to go about this. I do have a disc plow ordered, which will attach to my ATV. Should I plow the entire area and then seed it? Do they sell mixes of grass and wildflowers native to each area of the U.S.? I don't have any large equipment to use for pressing seed into the ground. Any suggestions?

As the land slopes down into the bog, I assume it will simply not promote the growth of the grasses/wildflowers in that area. Am I correct? I am very happy with the natural bog environment and associated wildlife, and I don't want to disturb it in any way.

Regarding mowing of the field: I would like to leave the wildflower stalks up during the winter, for the birds to eat. I also don't want to disturb nests. I would assume early spring would be a good time to mow - before the nests are established. Is this correct?

One last question: if I do decide to do this, when should I plant?

Thanks in advance for all your help. I have found Garden Web to be very helpful.

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Vera_EWASH(z5 EasternWA)

They didn't have seeds that I could find, but over 200 native plants to Minnesota...if anything you may want to see if they might point you in the right direction for wetland plants, lowland plants.
located in the Twin City area :)

Vera

Here is a link that might be useful: Landscape Alternatives

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 12:09AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ahughes798(z5 IL)

Prairie Moon Nursery is in Minnesota, and will be able to help you. They have regional seed mixes for your area.

www.prairiemoon.com

You could also try Prairie Nursery:

www.prairienursery.com

They have the same deal, kind of, though it's more geared towards soil type. April

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 12:39AM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
Fledgeling_(4b SD)

lots of hayfeilds are seeded with agressive nonatives, such as brome, crested weatgrass, and alfalfa. the competition from these planst might be a limiting factor if you seed it as is, but i really have no experience nor can i offer a solution.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2005 at 8:05PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
ahughes798(z5 IL)

Fledgling is correct...Site prep is 2/3 of the battle. The names I gave you above have excellent advice in their catalog and on-line on doing exactly what you want to do. April

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 12:53PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo
stacwase(4 MI)

Thanks a bunch for the links and the responses!

    Bookmark   April 24, 2005 at 4:34PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Grass ID and advice needed!
Hello. Posted this on name that plant forum. Got 2...
adidas
More recommendations please!
Is there a grass for this? Location: N. VA mtns...Appalachian...
adidas
Growing wildflower/grass/sedge seedlings in trays before planting
Hi, I intend to grow 100 different species of native...
njbiology
How I cultivated a prairie'ish meadow in Oklahoma
Someone suggested I might post this, so let me basically...
dbarron
Sowing prairie seed into snow
I am interested if anybody has experience with prairie...
oakridge2
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™