• Stomping down the Autumn meadow

    by  • September 9, 2011 • Meadow project

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    Last Fall I decided to rid an area of weeds and grow a California native and hand-sown
     meadow. Here is the end of the season story and evaluation.

    The meadow in September

    The meadow in September

    Stomping the Meadow

    Ever since the meadow started growing, I’ve been thinking in advance, for when the ‘off season’ came.  It’s here, and the meadow is dry and golden.  I love my meadow, even in this stage… I like the look of it and how the seed heads are forming and the afternoon light coming through it.

    In the foreground is Lavender, Rosemary, Wyethia and Big Bush artemisia

    In the foreground is Lavender, Rosemary, Wyethia and Big Bush artemisia

    When I thought of fall in the meadow, I planned on having Tractor Man use the weedeater to neaten up the area , but now I’ve changed my mind. While walking through the meadow and watering the still green Muhly grass, the Blue flax and the Yarrow, I noticed that the dry grasses and tall seed heads of the Globe Gilia could easily be flattened as I stepped on it.  I stepped a little more and thought why not just flatten it out by ‘foot’?

    Part stomped down leaving heermann's tarweed, Yarrow and Muhly grass,...cool!

    Very dry Vulpia grass and Poppies and still green Heermann’s tarweed, Yarrow and Muhly grass,…cool!

    The weedeater and its ‘operator’ would not be as discriminating as the ‘sower of the meadow.’   Everything would go flying brown and green alike. Plus, less work for ‘someone.’  That is what I did then. 

    Stomp, stomp

    Stomp, stomp

    Very dry Mullein, Agastache, Sage and Yarrow

    Very dry Mullein, Agastache, Sage and Yarrow

    Future plans:

    • I will have to wait to see how many seeds will sprout from the mix sown a year ago. to complete the experiment, I won’t sow frAbout Sierra Foothill Gardenesh seed there this fall, but wait and see.
    • I plan to sow fresh seed in a wildflower border along one of the paths. Three to four feet wide will hopefully add some color and spread more native seed in the garden area.
    •  I do plan to carefully rake a bit of the ‘straw’ left on the ground of the meadow and lay it down, seeds and all, in this planned ‘border’ area of the garden.  I also plan to sow some native Rudbeckia hirta along with it.
    • I’ve saved the seed of the tallest Globe Gilia to also be sown in that area.
    Dry and stomped meadow

    Dry and stomped meadow

    Evaluation:
    A CA Native seeded meadow is possible.
    It takes some weeding.
    Bare spots happen.
    Seeds wash down hill sprout where they can.
    Meadows need a little water.
    Meadows can fit into a garden with perennials.
    Meadows are so enjoyable for months of the year.

    Meadow color

    Meadow color in summer

    Planning to sow a meadow this Fall? Catch up on how I did mine!  Super fun!

    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

    2011-5-5 California native meadow in May, the ideal image in my head and now in reality!

    2011-5-5 California native meadow in May, the ideal image in my head and now in reality!

    July meadow

    July meadow

    Meadow in May, poppies, bird's eye gilia and tidytips mostly. Pacific fescue is blooming

    Meadow in May, poppies, bird’s eye gilia and tidytips mostly. Pacific fescue is blooming

    All the wild color make the Brodiaea look subdued.

    All the wild color make the Brodiaea look subdued.

     

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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.