Summer is over and the sites waiting to be converted to native meadow are ready for seeding. The tarps have been patiently blanketing the ground since we prepped the site back in July (click here to see the initial site preparation.) Lifting the tarps 3 months later reveals that they have effectively smothered the existing carpet of turf grass and annual weeds. Now the seeding can begin.
The seed mix for the meadow contains native forbs (flowering plants, annuals, perennials) and grasses. In time it will grow into a natural mosaic of plants, patches and drifts developing in the niches and micro-climates they find most comfortable. Over time this mosaic will shift and change, through a process called succession. Some of the plants, like the Rudbeckia (Black Eyed Susan), will come on strong in the first year, with a spectacular show of yellow flowers all summer long. Still others, the warm season grasses in particular, may not really take off until a few seasons later, biding their time until they eventually fill in and lend their slender form to the swaying field. This dynamic nature is part of the reason we find meadows to be so exciting. On top of the visual aesthetic, an established meadow hums with life, providing food and shelter for countless creatures. Far more interesting than flat green grass