My Tiny Prairie Installation

It was far too beautiful to stay inside today, so I took the opportunity to organize a meager attack on the football field of grass we have near the road (the previous owners tell us it used to be a bunch of pine trees that died off).  With more time and money, I would have gladly done a ‘proper’ larger scale prairie installation here, but in the meantime, this tiny prairie will have to do.  I’m an amateur gardener, so I wanted to start small.

I laid down water-soaked newspapers under cocoa-shell mulch, then used a natural limestone border that was chipped away when they poured the foundation of our house over 30 years ago.  The idea is that the paper and mulch will kill the sod and make for easier expansion and growth next year.

I don’t recall the variety of grasses (there are 3), but they’re all native to Wisconsin, as are the Purple Coneflower, Indigo, Prairie Smoke, purple Aster, butterfly milkweed, and 2 others I can’t recall (I’d go check the tags, but the mosquitoes would carry me off during this time of day).

The next attack will be a rain garden near the culvert you see in the photo below, per my friend Paul’s suggestion.  It gets plenty wet to support it, and attracts a whole new variety of wildlife to enjoy.

Oh, and for what it’s worth, the honeysuckle, garlic mustard, buckthorn, touch-me-not attack has been temporarily suspended, as the wildwoods has become a veritable romper room for the mosquitoes and deer flies (yeah, its that bad).  I’ll have to focus on that effort in the spring and fall.  I’ve also refined my attack plan to concentrate on smaller areas and work outward radially rather than just hacking away at it.  I might still try to carve a trail (more like a tunnel) through it, then gradually work my way outward from the trail.

We’ll see!  I’ll keep you posted…


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