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Wildflower/prairie garden in my ditch?

Posted by ptilda 3/4 (My Page) on
Sat, Jul 18, 09 at 3:50

Our land is off of a blacktop country road. Only requirement in the ditch area is that it can't have any large trees (or the county will come & cut them to avoid forest-fire danger). Other than that, anything goes & I've seen all sorts of ideas. Quite honestly, I've announced my official refusal to mow this rough area anymore, and I have no intention on taking special care of it.

The ditch butts up against a fairly heavily wooded area (cleared of brush, and a combination of mowed weeds (no grass to speak of) and shade gardens that are gradually increasing). My intention is to make a sort of rock wall at the top of the ditch, and let everything between the wall and the road go wild... with a little help. We have a lot of wild flowers, including lupin, daisy, yarrow, black-eyed-susan, and a lot of other standards. I'm also thinking of adding some other flowers. There are no other yards within several hundred feet, so there's little concern about the seeds traveling to the neighbor's yards.

Other ideas I have include colored yarrow, coneflowers, poppies, phlox (also grows wild here). Any input?

Follow-Up Postings:


Forgot to mention, my technique for planting this area is going to be:

1. take an established plant (I dont' do so well with seeds).
2. dig a hole in the ditch
3. fill hole with compost or other organic soil amendment
4. pop plant in hole, water, mulch (maybe)
5. pray
6. repeat in 3-4 other locations of the ditch.

If I get some good seed, I might throw it out there, but I'm mostly interested in putting plants in, since I feel like my chances are better of having SOME plants come up. They are going to have to fight with the existing wild flowers, weeds, grasses & some moss that's out there anyhow.

RE: Wildflower/prairie garden in my ditch?

It would help if you said what state you live in and the type of soil in your ditch. Is it sandy or clay? Is it wet or mostly dry? Is it part shade or sun? Also, do you care if the plants are North American natives or not? Coloured yarrow, most large poppies, and so-called "wild" phlox (really hesperis matronalis) are not true US natives. Rudbeckia, echinacea, many types of native asters, goldenrod, vernonia, coreopsis, helianthus are only a few suggestions for showy, low maintenance native plants. Check on the net or in person for some nurseries in your state that feature native plants and that way you will know what plants grow best in your region.

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