• September: Time to plan a native CA meadow

    by  • September 11, 2014 • Meadow project

    Now, is the time to plan

    Your meadow can be large or small …or even in a container, and the first step is to get you area as weed free as possible, and raked smooth. My garden is in the Oakhurst area, just like you! See how to ‘get’ your meadow!

    Meadow in early summer

    Meadow in early summer

    Weed and Rake

    Do this while you wait for your seeds to arrive in the mail. S & S Seeds is the source I’ve used for the last four years for my large 32 ft x 32 ft meadow. An alternative is to look for these seed varieties at a nursery in town:

    In order of how long these reseed or rebloom in my garden:

    1. Blue Flax (Perennial)
    2. Yarrow (Perennial)
    3. CA poppy (Perennial)
    4. Black-eyed Susans (Perennial)
    5. Baby Blue Eyes
    6. Clarkia (Farewell to Spring)
    7. Arroyo lupine
    8. Five Spot
    9. Globe Gilia
    10. Tidy Tips

    If marked (Perennial), this means the plants die down a bit but can be pruned and appear the next year. All are beautiful and well worth sowing and all come in S & S Seeds’ CA Native Mix at $54 per pound of pure seed.  A lot less needs be spent for smaller areas that can be just as colorful as my large one.

    Note: Because of reseeding, I’ve only paid for new seed twice and had five seasons of bloom.

    Perennial lavender penstemon with blue Globe Gilia in the background

    Perennial lavender penstemon with blue Globe Gilia in the background

    Wait for rain and sow

    Next step could take some time…you wait for the first Fall rain.  Once you’ve weeded and raked your area and have your seeds and it has rained, sow your seeds as evenly as possible, stepping on them as you go.  Have some children follow behind you to help step on the seeds.  This will be fun and the seeds will not only get good soil contact, but be somewhat hidden from the birds.  There’s no need to rake or cover the seeds further.

    Summer watering

    No need to water but once every two weeks if the heat lasts and not at all if there is rain occasionally.  I water once a week by hand in the hottest weeks of summer, July and August.

    The last step is to wait and weed while the seeds appear and enjoy the Spring’s bloom!

    The 3 steps again are:

    1. Weed and Rake – September
    2. Buy seed, wait for rain and sow – November
    3. Weed and wait for bloom! – January-March
    Meadow on a sunny day

    Meadow on a sunny day


    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.