• Let’s check for progress on the meadow!

    by  • December 19, 2010 • Meadow project

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    Last update for Fall 2010 …next Winter!

    Before the latest rainstorms, new photos were taken of progress on my little seedlings in an area chosen for a meadow. Here, was a field of weedy filaree, awful weeds with seeds that form curlicues that screw themselves into our Corgi, Maggie’s fur in the spring and summer. Since filaree is not a CA native, the decision was made to eradicate as much as possible. The original post tells the details.

    Nov. 9 2010 Test ponypaks of seeds on planting day

    Nov. 9 2010 Test ponypaks of seeds on planting day

    Test pony paks were planted  the same day as the ground so I would know by sight which seedlings were meadow plants and which were weeds. The blue pak has the native wildflower mix and the orange has the native grass and wildflower mix, which does include one variety, ox-eye daisies, that is not CA native, but welcome in this case.

    Sept 2010 Area marked out for new meadow

    Sept 2010 Area marked out for new meadow

    At the back is a Sycamore tree, planted in 2006, from a 5 gallon can, about 15 feet tall now. Along the right side is a winding gravel path that divides the meadow area from a rock garden, also new this year.

    November 2010 Sycamore bows down under a blanket of snow

    Nov 21 2010 Sycamore bows down under a blanket of snow

    In November, the area was blanketed in snow and I feared for the branches of the sycamore! It still had many leaves, due to our nice warm fall and they caught the snow, bending nearly to the ground. I don’t stake trees because that actually weakens them so… it has survived, and the snow melted with no broken branches.

    As for the seeds, being natives they should be fine through the usual California weather conditions.  Talk about winter sowing, huh?

    Dec 11 2010 Test pony paks two months after planting day.

    Dec 11 2010 Test pony paks two months after planting day.

    Fast forward to middle of December, and the seedlings in the test paks have shown themselves. I still don’t know what is what among the wildflower seedlings, but you can definitely tell which is flowers, and which is grasses.

    Dec 16 2010 Seedlings two months after planting day.

    Dec 16 2010 Seedlings two months after planting day.

    In the meadow itself the same little seedlings as in the pony paks are visible, spread rather unevenly since I hand sowed them. That is fine and I believe that will give me a natural look rather than a lawn look. Since plant growth slows down so much in the colder months these sizes are to be expected.

    Dec 16 2010 Seedlings after two months

    Dec 16 2010 Seedlings after two months

    Checking, also, the perennials planted around the edge of the ‘meadow’, there is already new growth starting at the base of the dried stems of the main plants. Hope for Spring! I am excited about so many new Agastaches, which is a new plant for me.

    I am planning on having to weed pretty conscientiously, to keep the well-known filaree seedlings out. When ever there is good weather, I’ll start that now. I imagine that in two more months there will be a more dramatic change.

    How to sow wildflower seeds article by Judith Larner
    Wildflower FAQ by Wildseed Farms

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    The Meadow project, month by month
    What am I really doing in the garden in October?  Planning and removing weeds
    Do you dream of a natural and beautiful wildflower meadow?  Finding and sowing seeding
    Let’s check for progress on the meadow!  Weeding and watching the weather
    How to weed a meadow in the Sierra Foothills  More weeding…letting the sprouts thrive
    Let’s check on Fall and Winter projects!  Identifying seedlings
    The wildflower meadow in May   Small triumphs
    My California native meadow in June  Starting to bloom
    The midsummer meadow  The peak bloom
    Stomping down the Autumn meadow  Neatening up
    Native California meadow in the second year

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    About

    Sue Langley, a passionate gardener and photographer lives and gardens with her husband and Corgi, Maggie on 7 acres just south of Yosemite, Zone 7 at 3000 feet. She also manages the Flea Market Gardening Facebook page and website.