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My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

Posted by TexasRanger10 7 (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 4:47

Just wanted to share a shot I took today of my little urban prairie. Its a work in progress going on its 6th year. I've never regretted taking out the bermuda grass lawn. I added quite a few new plants this year and am adding more fringed sage in this area. I took out Little Bluestem 'The Blues' which was too bushy and floppy and am growing Little Bluestem 'Blue Heaven' which I have coming up in the back as replacements, they are much more upright and get very purple in fall. My favorite prairie grasses are the Sideoats Grama there by the sidewalk and Blue Grama.

The Lazy Daisy white flowers are new and will naturalize well, nice because they are very low growing and bloom continuously. Other season long bloomers are Pink Flameflowers, Gaillardia, Hairy Golden Aster, Desert Marigolds and Tahoka Daisy, they are all nice heights and have naturalized well.

To the left is Rabbit Bush, Dalea greggi, Flame Acanthus & Lantana. The shrub on the upper right is Green Mormon Tea.

I don't know why it is but this Desert Willow has very fragrant leaves. You can smell it all over the yard.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

I love this combination. Fringed Sage with Purple Prairie Clover. The fringed sage is a great component and works for me here where I found we get a bit too much rain for Big Sage. I'm adding a lot more Artemisia ludoviana too, I love the silver plants.

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

From a different perspective.

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

Wow!!!! I LOVE it!!! So much more exciting than the dull lawns of your neighbors! Do you have any sedges in there? Did you grow any of this from seed? I am trying to grow some sideoats grama but it's awfully slow going! I love the little tufts of grass peaking through the cracks in the sidewalk....get rid of that sidewalk :)

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

adidas I grow nearly everything from seed or trades because sources for many plants are non existent here. The Sideoats grass takes off the second year but thats true for most of the grasses. I found it really looks best in full sun because its so stiff and vertical. In areas with part sun Bluestem looks better, the Sideoats looks more mounding and rather plain.

Most of the plants have naturalized but I did purchase quite a few seed varieties from Plants of the Southwest, they've come back or multiplied each year. I collect seeds from wild plants too and just sort of keep my eyes open for anything interesting. Its fun to keep adding new things, sometimes I will see a native sold in a nursery.

I bought Bluestem grass from Santa Rosa gardens, they have a good selection of native grasses. 7 plants of two different types quickly multiplied. I liked the way it looked more so than the local Bluestem which was taller and greener when I transplanted a few here. I also got 3 types of Switchgrass which are in the back of the property.

One I haven't tried but should is Prairie Dropseed. I've got muhly grasses and stipa which also work in nice. I've only got one kind of sedge & have no idea what kind, I found them growing by a housing project and dug up a couple starts for a shady area, its plain green.

I did both the front and back. Here is what it looked like in the beginning after removing the existing grass and shrubs.

This post was edited by TexasRanger10 on Fri, Jun 6, 14 at 23:00

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

You have done so much in 6 yrs! Maybe a silly ? but do you find more wildlife in your yard now? Birds after seed? Butterflies? I hope that you are an inspiration to your neighbours! Just imagine if everyone there were to get rid off their bermuda grass! I have a meadowish part to my property but this meadow is very wet and rocky and anything that comes up beyond orchard grass is quickly consumed by critters. You have inspired me to wintersow some more grass species! By the way sedges may look dull green but they have the most unusual influorescences!

RE: My Prairie Lawn in Oklahoma

I've seen some really nice colored sedges, especially the reddish brown ones and some light colored ones. I'm real dry here so I'm afraid they'd fry or need a lot of watering because most seem to require moist soil. I'm not opposed to adding some non natives and there's some Australian species that are downright gorgeous. I've seen it used as a grass substitute in lawns, I think its Pennsylvania thats used. John Greenlee has that book on grasses and prairies and he uses it a lot. I think eastern Oklahoma where its wetter has more sedges, I thought I was seeing that from the car going 70mph anyway. Very pretty.

I get lots of butterflies when they are around. Last fall was heavy but this spring they've been pretty sparse. I have lots of toads but no lizards. I almost hate to admit this but I don't keep a birdbath or water source for birds but I do get them pecking around on the ground more. I see a lot more dragonflies and I especially noticed more hummingbirds and keep adding plants they like.

Grasses are the ingredient that ties it all together. I added them in late but noticed the difference in the overall feel & look right away. I especially love them in fall and winter when they catch the sunlight and become the star performers. Its also nice to see them in them moving in the wind, I find it hypnotic to watch so I just sit and stare sometimes and pretend I'm in the country.

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