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Old 07-24-2014, 08:39 PM   #21
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My goal is to add some native annuals to make sure that I get plenty of coverage to cut down on weed seeds, but I also want to have something blooming the first year. Originally, I was just thinking of daisy fleabane (Erigeron spp.)...but I'm hoping for more suggestions of annuals to add to my mix.
Some of my favorite native annuals that I can't do without:

Monarda citriodora Lemon beebalm
Chamaecrista fasciculata partridge pea
Chamaecrista nictitans sensitive partridge pea
Phlox drummondii annual phlox
Salvia coccinea hummingbird sage
Sabatia angularis rosepink
Impatiens capensis jewelweed
Crotalaria sagittalis arrowhead rattlebox
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Old 07-24-2014, 08:49 PM   #22
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Do they reseed kchd or do you plant the seeds or plants every year?
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:00 PM   #23
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Some of my favorite native annuals that I can't do without:

Monarda citriodora Lemon beebalm
Chamaecrista fasciculata partridge pea
Chamaecrista nictitans sensitive partridge pea
Phlox drummondii annual phlox
Salvia coccinea hummingbird sage
Sabatia angularis rosepink
Impatiens capensis jewelweed
Crotalaria sagittalis arrowhead rattlebox

Thanks, Katie. I'll check out the ones I'm not familiar with...I hope they are not limited to your area.

Years ago, when I used to plan for a property I didn't yet have, I always thought if use I]Impatiens [/I]capensis to fill in large areas. I do have some naturally occurring I. pallida, but I prefer capensis. The areas that I plan for meadow are a bit dry for jewelweed though, I think.

I did buy some partridge pea last year...and I *just* found it growing today! I guess it did seed itself. I'd be interested in the sensitive one--we have sensitive plant as a houseplant. Jeff loves it!

Thanks again for the list. I'll do some research.

I'm also interested in natives (annual, perennial, biennial...insignificant flowers or something more noticeable) to fill in gaps underneath the main meadow plants...things that will crowd out weeds and act as and "understory" to the main flowers and grasses that will make up the main meadow.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:24 PM   #24
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Do they reseed kchd or do you plant the seeds or plants every year?
Ellen, this year is my first year to have rosepink. I have been wanting it for a couple of years because I fell in love with it when I first saw it. Linrose noted in another post that hers re-seeds every year.

All the others re-seed for me quite well. I think the key is to have happy plants in a site they like.

2 years ago I bought the annual native mix from EasyWildflowers and seeded it on a crappy 1,000 sq ft dirt patch in the pasture. It has been reseeding itself and looks even better this year.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:30 PM   #25
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Thanks, Katie. I'll check out the ones I'm not familiar with...I hope they are not limited to your area.

Years ago, when I used to plan for a property I didn't yet have, I always thought if use I]Impatiens [/I]capensis to fill in large areas. I do have some naturally occurring I. pallida, but I prefer capensis. The areas that I plan for meadow are a bit dry for jewelweed though, I think.

I did buy some partridge pea last year...and I *just* found it growing today! I guess it did seed itself. I'd be interested in the sensitive one--we have sensitive plant as a houseplant. Jeff loves it!

Thanks again for the list. I'll do some research.

I'm also interested in natives (annual, perennial, biennial...insignificant flowers or something more noticeable) to fill in gaps underneath the main meadow plants...things that will crowd out weeds and act as and "understory" to the main flowers and grasses that will make up the main meadow.
I have had good luck with Glandularia canadensis as a low-growing filler. Both Chamaecrista species fill in for me too.

I am not sure if ALL of my favorite annuals are native to your area but I think many of them are.
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Old 07-24-2014, 09:45 PM   #26
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My theory over the years is that many people plant trees, and the natural succession of most areas around here would become woodland...but how many people plant the meadow plants...those early succession (and later, more conservative plants) habitats are becoming more and more rare. There are species that depend on these habitats as well.
You raise a valid point, Dap, but I think it very much depends on the area you are in, and the historical plant communities that originally existed there. I say this because of what it brings to mind for where I live. Historically, this area was forested (except for the black prairie one county to the east of me). A mass expanse of forested area is important to many warblers that nest here. When you fragment the habitat instead of having that huge expanse of forest, you open up opportunity for example, for terrible problems with brown-headed cowbirds parasitizing those woodland warblers.

Just something to think about. Our pollinators are in dire need of herbaceous flowers, too. It's a tough decision.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:12 PM   #27
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Several years ago I planted non native annual seeds. They reseeded and grew the next year. I never thought about planting annual native seeds. I don't have anywhere to plant seeds indoors to start plants. That might be a good alternative to plant native annual seeds. I have tried planting perennial seeds outside and none of them have grown. Seeds are so much less expensive than plants.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:42 PM   #28
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You raise a valid point, Dap, but I think it very much depends on the area you are in, and the historical plant communities that originally existed there. I say this because of what it brings to mind for where I live. Historically, this area was forested (except for the black prairie one county to the east of me). A mass expanse of forested area is important to many warblers that nest here. When you fragment the habitat instead of having that huge expanse of forest, you open up opportunity for example, for terrible problems with brown-headed cowbirds parasitizing those woodland warblers.

Just something to think about. Our pollinators are in dire need of herbaceous flowers, too. It's a tough decision.
I was not aware of the warblers' need for great expanses, but I was aware of the cowbird problem.

I guess, I'm thinking, despite the fact that succession here will ultimately be forest on most sites, there have always been forest fires (and fires started by indigenous tribes), fallen trees/tornadoes that would provide enough open space and sun for meadow plants. These plants are indigenous to the same areas that the forest trees and woodland wildflowers are--so, they've been around and sites for them have been around over the millennia.

Like you said, the pollinators need them...and, my bluebirds need the open space. There are also meadow birds...I'd love to have meadow lark.

Also, wetlands are disappearing...so, so are the plants and wildlife that depend of them.

I'd love to have killdeer, but I don't think I have the right habitat for them.
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Old 07-24-2014, 10:53 PM   #29
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Several years ago I planted non native annual seeds. They reseeded and grew the next year. I never thought about planting annual native seeds. I don't have anywhere to plant seeds indoors to start plants. That might be a good alternative to plant native annual seeds. I have tried planting perennial seeds outside and none of them have grown. Seeds are so much less expensive than plants.
Jewelweed would be a good one to try...and fun too--the seed pods explode. If you can find a local population, just collect some seed and sprinkle it in a spot that is on the moister side. They will come up on their own in the spring...and they are attractive to hummingbirds.
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Old 07-25-2014, 07:23 AM   #30
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I'm also interested in natives (annual, perennial, biennial...insignificant flowers or something more noticeable) to fill in gaps underneath the main meadow plants...things that will crowd out weeds and act as and "understory" to the main flowers and grasses that will make up the main meadow.
This is what grasses are for to fill in with meadow plants. They have done this for millions of years since flowering plants came in after grasses. Warm season grasses are perfectly aligned for most meadow plantings.

I like running Vanilla Sweet Grass (Hierochloe odorata) as it spreads rapidly in moist soil. Comes up very early in the spring and is finished flowering at the end of spring. It is thick enough to fill in but not too thick.

Wild Red Columbine, Golden Alexander, Christmas Fern, Silver Sedge are my go-to for spring wildflowers that grow fast and flower before the warm season grasses and wildflowers.

Weeds will always exist in the meadow because plant die and holes are opened up. Aggressive natives will be more likely to fill those gaps and flush out a lot of pioneering species. Indian Grass/Big Bluestem would be that species for me, as they will spread by seed rapidly, grow aligned with native wildflowers, and very deep roots.

Long term issue with introducing a lot of warm season grasses is that it can become a solid stand over time. Poorer soil is more likely to maintain a proper diversity without using grazing animals for mowing.

After the meadow develops to this stage, you could just let it succeed with trees at that stage, instead of mowing. The grasses will reduce and other wildflowers can enter that gap. Then cutting the trees back will push it back into a meadow with higher quality because of the slow changes of the plant communities.

Man-made changes may have existed for a long time but its not natural usually for it to happen so often. 30-100 year burns are more natural but trees would be in those communities. In the Midwest on the Oak Savannah, the oaks are resistant to low intensity burns and persist. Wind-throw can throw forests down but tend to come back as forests since wind-throw is limiting, especially in large mature woodlands.

80% of the forests on the east coast have been removed, so I am more willing to put it back to its natural state. Unfortunately protecting a woodland from harvesters over time can be very hard.
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