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Large Wildflower Planting

Posted by johnstaci Z5 SmithvilleMO (My Page) on
Mon, Aug 30, 04 at 23:43

I am turning 30 acres of farmland into meadows and forest. I am up for suggestions on the types of wildflowers to use and my planting. I would like to keep it simple with 3 or 4 different kinds. I like all coneflowers, but white are my favorite. Brown eyed susan and daisies are also ones I'm thinking of.

Does anyone have other suggestions on plant types or general planting guidance. The land is part high/dry and part low/moist.

Thanks,
John


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Large Wildflower Planting

for a large planting i would contact the local NRCS office or a local pheasants forever habitat specialist... they are very good at converting ex-cropland to native prairies ...they can point you in the right direction for local sources of seed, recommendations for what grows well in your area, seed drill, etc.etc. etc. -


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RE: Large Wildflower Planting

John,

I answered your previous post with a short list of suggestions for native prairie wildflowers, but I had no idea of the scope of your project.

Have you contacted the Missouri Department of Conservation for assistance? They have a large and active Private Lands program, with specialists stationed throughout the state. They are paid to work with landowners like you. Smithville is located right on the border of two different districts -- Northwest and Kansas City. Each of these districts has a private land conservationist -- names and contact information are listed in the web site linked below.

For a large site like yours, it is important that you avoid making mistakes that could prevent you from achieving your objectives... or even end up making things worse. MDC private lands specialists can provide expert advice and technical assistance on IMPORTANT topics such as site preparation, species selection, seed sources, and maintenance after seeding.

They will probably be able to recommend contractors who are experienced with the sort of restoration you want, and they may even be able to help you obtain financial assistance!

Here is a link that might be useful: MDC Private Lands Assistance


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RE: Large Wildflower Planting

you mentioned you wanted to keep it simple by using only 3 or 4 types of flowers - however dont take offense to this - but that isnt what is normally recommended... generally a planting is considered healthy when you have a wide diversity of plants - the diversity makes the best habitat for a variety of wildlife and the diversity is an indication of a healthy ecosystem... a large planting with only a few species may be not be sustainable over the long term. some species like black eyed susans are abundant in the early years of a planting but not so prevelent as the planting ages... if you only have a few species to start with i think the chance of a successful planting is probably reduced in the long term. most prairie mixes for large plots contain 3 - 4 species of grasses with 12 -28 species of wildflowers, with the largest percentage being the grasses. of course these can be modified to heavy up the flowers and lighten up the grasses - depends upon your pocket book.


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RE: Large Wildflower Planting

ask your mo dept of conservation pivate landowner services rep about cost-share opportunities for your rehabilitation project. they can help in a variety of ways.


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RE: Large Wildflower Planting

I have great affection for daisy fleabane. Don't know if this is a serious prairie plant. Mine grows 1-3 ft tall with an airy mass of small daisy flowers, kind of a 'baby's breath' effect. I have clusters of it around my house, so cheerful and blooms all summer. You have enough land to build a lot of meadow! If I had the land to play with I'd build a big meadow and plant a dense plot of commercial sunflower in the center, the giant seed producers. That would be quite a sight like the Wizard of Oz. I'd leave it up through the winter for the animals. The next year you would get some crazy little sunflowers as the hybrid seeds revert to type. A large meadow rolls with waves in the breeze like the song: 'amber waves of grain'. What a lovely sight and you need a major field to get that effect.


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