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Old 03-19-2010, 04:23 PM   #11
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Now that we have your "before" pictures - What are you waiting for? Get out there and transform your pocket prairie!

When are your babies due to arrive?
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Old 03-19-2010, 04:44 PM   #12
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Well, my plants should arrive sometime in mid-April. I do need to transplant some things that are growing elsewhere in my garden but I want to wait until I have everything here. Because this edges a fence I need to put the taller plants like Indiangrass and Tall Coreopsis in the back first and work my way out. Plus I have to get the spacing right, I like to spot them in before I dig holes.

I'm not going to turn the leaves into the soil, rather just dig holes just big enough to get the plugs in and let the leaves serve as mulch. That seemed to work out fine with the original bed. Saves my back too!

So for now all I can do is cut back the old stalks and do some minimal weeding in the old bed. I went out today and started cleaning up all my garden beds and boy did my body tell me I spent way too much time in front of the computer this winter and not enough time working out! Yikes!
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Old 03-20-2010, 12:58 AM   #13
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Your photos let me see what you were talking about. I like the idea of calling these pocket prairies. It seems to make things more manageable and the pocket prairies can always be expanded when there's more time and money. They look really great and they'll look better and better each year. This hurts though just so you know, "I went out today and started cleaning up all my garden beds and boy did my body tell me I spent way too much time in front of the computer this winter and not enough time working out! Yikes! ".... A painful reminder of what's coming for me. I know I'm out of shape after every winter and you just reminded me I've got pain days coming up.
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Old 03-20-2010, 01:10 AM   #14
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I've learned my lesson more than once on this pain thing you're talking about. The body doesn't tell you when to quit in time so I mentally have to remind myself.... ONLY 2 hours or else! Well at least in the beginning of spring anyway...
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:38 AM   #15
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I can't wait to see your new plants in place. That's a great space you have carved out for a garden.
When you add the tall grasses they will give you a good host plant for skippers who will mob your asters for nectar latter. They are wonderful to watch in the late summer to fall garden.
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Old 04-22-2010, 12:15 PM   #16
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Happy Earth Day everyone!

Well, the majority of my plants are here. Last weekend I ended up removing about half of the chopped leaves that didn't compost down because there was way too much bulk. In my experience once you clear a spot for the plant and replace the mulch minus a 2" ring around them you end up with extra mulch to put somewhere. Also the leaves kind of fluff up when you move them around so the volume increases.

I've stockpiled some of the leaves and spread the rest in the wooded area I'm trying to keep up as part of the garden if you can call it that. I may go back and use some to add to the bed in the fall if it needs it. I also cleaned out the finished compost and sprinkled it over the leaves along with some alfalfa meal to keep the decomp going. This weekend I hope to have most of the plants in the ground if all goes to plan. It is supposed to rain (Yay!) which is not a problem unless it's a gully-washer.

I'm looking out my bedroom window on what I hope will be a wonderful pocket prairie garden in a few months. The big green dots are the cutleaf coneflowers and the small green dots are probably the echinaceas and rudbeckias I planted last year. The rest is a clean slate ready to be planted. I'm ready!
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Old 04-23-2010, 01:49 PM   #17
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I truly love the pocket prairie concept. Thank you for continuing to share photos.

Pockets, as you refer to them, are small enough to be manageable while large enough to be accommodating to local wildlife.
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Old 04-24-2010, 02:26 AM   #18
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I guess I'm a pocket gardener. I didn't know I was but I am. I like doing it this way because I'm never biting off big chunks at a time. I can plug along and work in little "pockets" getting rid of my lawn when I've got the time and the money. I really like what you're doing. I really like what you're calling what you're doing. Whatcha gonna plant in all the "nekkid" areas you've got?
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Old 04-24-2010, 10:19 AM   #19
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I've got all the plants I need to begin which include most of the ones in my original post except Rudbeckia triloba but I put some in last year and expect them to self-sow. I need to get a couple more baptisia, I love these. I'm starting today. We had a big rainstorm last night but the wind is blowing now and as soon as its dried out enough I'm going out to start planting.
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Old 04-24-2010, 11:07 AM   #20
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I really like the Baptisia; interesting foliage and a really nice display of flowers. It takes them awhile to reach full size, but they're pretty much care free, and they are long lived plants. The root systems on the blue (Baptisia australis) are really tough; when I divided mine I had to use an axe! The white baptisia (Baptisia alba) has a long tap root, so it's really difficult to move or divide this one. The Baptisia also a favorite nectar plant for some of the small skipper butterflies.
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