Return to the Native Plants Forum | Post a Follow-Up

little bluestem cover crop?

Posted by fiddlrs3 NE Illinois (My Page) on
Sat, Apr 11, 09 at 13:41

My wifes garden patch is being converted to llittle bluestem, butterfly weed, and pale coneflower. It's been my experience that LBS takes at least a couple of years to really show up. Any cheap ideas of how to hold the weeds at bay those first couple of growing seasons?

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: little bluestem cover crop?

I my experience Little Bluestem really can't compete well with anything when it is a seedling. I think a cover crop with the bluestem would slow it's establishment or prevent it from establishing at all.I would suggest you use cover crops before you plant the bluestem and try to deplete the weed seedbank.
Spray weeds with glyphosate, plant densely with any kind of cover crop (I prefer oats, but anything that smothers other weeds is effective). Kill the cover crop before it sets seed. Repeat if there are still a lot of weeds sprouting. Then plant your bluestem and flower seeds. Trust me, it is a lot easier to get rid of weeds before you plant your seeds than after! Another way to help the bluestem along (and other small seedlings) is to mow the planting a few times to cut down anything tall. This lets light down to the ground where the bluestem seedlings are growing.
Hope this helps..

RE: little bluestem cover crop?

Not sure. I know some seed mixes include a "nurse" crop of annual rye and various things but not sure if that's good for LBS. I like giantslug's suggestion. It's my experience that it's best to have your big weed battles before you put down your favorite seeds/plants and then just have little weed battles thereafter.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Native Plants Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here