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Joined: Feb 2009
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CoachB Offline OP
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Does anyone have experience with wild flower planting? I planted the berms around our pond last year, and the company told me I have to keep them mowed at 6 inches. This season I am supposed to mow at 8 inches.

The only way I can do this is with a weed whacker, and it takes a very long time to mow 1/2 acre of berms with a small whacker. Is this necessary? I was told that this helps keep the weeds from growing.

Any advice would be great.


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That is correct. In fact on some mixtures you are supposed to mow Mid March and Autumn. The height varies on the mix, but that sounds about right on average. It prevents weeds, hardwoods and other non wildflowers from invading. It is supposed to spread the wildflower seeds as well. You could always keep one small square area unmowed for a control test patch.

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CoachB,if I may ask,what did you mow with for the 6" level?


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That's the problem. I wish I could raise a mower to do that. I had to use my weed whacker, which took several hours, and was not very consistent. Doing that three or four times a year would be okay, but I should be doing it every few weeks. I finally gave up last year and let it grow. Mrs. was not too happy (but won't do it herself), and suggested I do a better job this year. Sigh...


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That's funny. I gave up on the wildflower deal for that exact same reason. What a pain in the rear. Sure they look nice, but all that cutting, and I have the best equipment you can get. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

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If they're WILD flowers, why should you have to keep them manicured to such exacting heights?
Hey, just saying. Just let em go. Fish or cut bait. Grow, or get smothered by weeds.

Last edited by burgermeister; 03/16/10 12:12 AM.

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Amen, brother!! (just don't let the Mrs. see this).


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Just get a lift kit for your lawn mower!

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I have several wildflower patches that I never mow and they look great. Not as good as they would if I took the time to "do it right" but it is good enough. Thing to remember is that a wild flower patch is not going to look good for the first couple of years because a lot of the plants are concentrating on root growth and not flower production. What I would recommend for you is to look up the most aggressive wild flower species for your area and plant heavy with that along with a good mixture of annual seeds for the first couple of years to keep the mrs. off your back. The annual seed are usually inexpensive and will keep it colorful while the perennials are maturing. I have several customers who have berms that they just disk up in the spring and replant with annuals every years so they do not have to fight it. I usually check my areas a couple times a year and hit the unwanted with herbicide.

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Mowing is normally recommended for the first year to keep weeds from hogging all the sunlight. Young native plants are small the first year of seeding. As ozark said, they spend the first growing season putting effort into good roots. It is said that native plants SLEEP(year 1), CREEP(year 2) and LEAP(year 3). If you can keep the weeds at bay for the first year, you should be OK. You won't need to mow forever. I have a couple of patches and really don't need to do anything to them any more. If you can burn them every couple of years that will help the stand and get rid of too much thatch.

See what the patch looks like this year without doing anything. I bet it will end up looking really good!


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If you burn them, just watch where you put your coat if you get hot and take it off....... Right Mikey? grin


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Missed that one Scott. blush blush blush


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I'm also looking to plant some native grasses and wildflowers. It would be nice if someone who had some pictures might share them, so I could know what to expect. I've found this stuff isn't CHEAP!


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Originally Posted By: Bossone
I'm also looking to plant some native grasses and wildflowers. It would be nice if someone who had some pictures might share them, so I could know what to expect. I've found this stuff isn't CHEAP!


I have a picture of my planting last year in this thread

http://forums.pondboss.com/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=256357&page=6

This was a first year planting and it is a mixture of wildflowers and grasses. I did no mowing of this planting and waiting to see how it looks this year. I plan on dealing with weeds etc by buring in the third year as long as the planting is not totally over run.


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I planted this field a year ago 13 months ago. I wanted to mow it in the fall, but it was way too wet. I finally got a chance to mow at the beginning of May, and the flowers are doing great. I have a slight weed and grass problem, but I believe I'll be in good shape as the flowers mature. This is a regional (northeast) mix from the Vermont Wildflower Farm. This pic doesn't do them justice as there are a lot more blooming now.


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Originally Posted By: esshup
If you burn them, just watch where you put your coat if you get hot and take it off....... Right Mikey? grin



Make sure the fire doesn't cross (and melt) you water supply lines intended to control the fire also...lol



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Rex, where we were burning, it was too far for any water supply lines. We had a couple of portable tank sprayers with water and a few rakes. It got pretty hot running back and forth. I did salvage my car and house keys........

Now I see why polyester is a no-no for hot places. Not only does it melt, but it re-lights itself. blush


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