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dapjwy 12-02-2013 10:13 PM

Native Step-ables?
 
Over the past couple of months, since I've been thinking more about how to create the meadow I have in my mind, I've begun to smother areas along side one of my paths. While doing this, it has begun to occur to me that I really can't leave the (Eurasian?) grass and weeds in the path as I'd originally planned. Sure, I can mow the paths, but the grasses and weeds will just infiltrate the meadow that will abut it. Just this past Monday, I spoke with someone who basically told me the same thing while we walked the path.

So, now I've been trying to figure out what natives could be planted in the paths and will hold up to foot-traffic. So far, I'm thinking along the lines of Carex pensylvanica, but I still have to look more into that. I'd like a mix of natives that can handle being stepped on.

Aside from the paths, I'm thinking about other low-growing natives that can be used to replace the lawn in the front yard--something that I could maybe just mow once or twice a year. These areas wouldn't be stepped on nearly as much as the paths (or, perhaps will not get stepped on at all). What I'm envisioning so far would be something along the lines of pussytoes (Antennaria sp.), Potentilla simplex, and bird's-foot violet (Viola pedata) along with some shorter grasses and/or rushes and sedges. I did a search of "native curly grass" and, I believe I found the grass I had in mind for a low-growing mixed "lawn":
Poverty oats grass (Danthonia spicata).
I'd love to hear some suggestions and feedback on the list I've compiled so far. Thank you.

recurve 12-02-2013 10:34 PM

Why not just smother your paths as well? Lay down a layer of newspaper and a good 6"-10" of raw wood chips. While your meadow establishes itself the newspaper and chips will break down and hopefully desirable natives will start to move in. As the path fills in and you walk on and eventually mow it those species that are suitable will thrive and others will die out (on the path). Just a thought might be cheaper in the long run to let nature do the work if you can wait that long:old.

turttle 12-02-2013 10:56 PM

I agree with recurve on the paths - otherwise, you may not be able to find your paths very clearly if they are growing a variety of plants.

Partridgeberry is a nice, low-growing native groundcover. I think it grows up there.

dapjwy 12-03-2013 07:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by recurve (Post 141744)
Why not just smother your paths as well? Lay down a layer of newspaper and a good 6"-10" of raw wood chips. While your meadow establishes itself the newspaper and chips will break down and hopefully desirable natives will start to move in. As the path fills in and you walk on and eventually mow it those species that are suitable will thrive and others will die out (on the path). Just a thought might be cheaper in the long run to let nature do the work if you can wait that long:old.

I'd thought of lining them with woodchips...and I may end up doing that. I guess I was thinking about some kind of sedge or something. I'd hate to have to keep reapplying the woodchips...and I don't know how well they I could mow it. I may still end up doing it that way. Time will tell.

I did like the idea of natives that can handle the mowing and the foot-traffic would eventually filling in.

dapjwy 12-03-2013 07:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by turttle (Post 141745)
I agree with recurve on the paths - otherwise, you may not be able to find your paths very clearly if they are growing a variety of plants.

That is why, I guess I envisioned something that is a bit more "grass like" that could be used to define the paths, but native in case it ends up growing into the meadow.

Quote:

Originally Posted by turttle (Post 141745)
Partridgeberry is a nice, low-growing native groundcover. I think it grows up there.

I'm sure I could find some areas where partridgeberry would be appropriate. :) Thanks for the suggestion.

biigblueyes 12-03-2013 08:48 PM

Looking up Partridgeberry. . . I like it!


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