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Old 03-08-2008, 08:45 AM
 
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Well I am seriously considering removing about an acre to an acre and a half of lawn and letting it go to wildflower. I have some steep terrain in parts of my lawn where I was forced to plant grass seed a few years back just to control erosion. Now that the lawn grass has established, I want to start removing it and planting wildflowers so as not to have to mow the steep stuff and to add some color and wildlife to the yard.

Looking for some suggestions on varieties and maybe some links to some seed dealers. The little I have looked, the prices range quite a bit and are dependent upon variety of course. Although a seed mixture is probably the way to go. I have noticed that most of these mixtures are mostly annuals and I don't want to have to spend several hundred dollars each year seeding the yard.

Thanks
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Old 03-08-2008, 08:51 AM
 
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I am looking into the same thing at the moment so will let you know what I find out!

Hopefully once the area is established, many of the wildflowers will re-seed themselves naturally, but you can collect seed each year and re-sow by hand.

I have heard that some wildflowers need cropping (cutting at a certain height) to mimic being eaten by grazing animals - so probably best to avoid that type if you don't want to be mowing there.

This site looks useful http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/ca...&btnSearch.y=7
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Old 03-08-2008, 09:09 AM
 
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Originally Posted by southdown View Post
I am looking into the same thing at the moment so will let you know what I find out!

Hopefully once the area is established, many of the wildflowers will re-seed themselves naturally, but you can collect seed each year and re-sow by hand.

I have heard that some wildflowers need cropping (cutting at a certain height) to mimic being eaten by grazing animals - so probably best to avoid that type if you don't want to be mowing there.

This site looks useful http://www.seedsource.com/catalog/ca...&btnSearch.y=7
Hey, thanks for the link. I was just reading about what you mentioned about some wildflowers needing to be mowed to help reseed and I really wouldn't mind mowing once or even twice a year. It is the mowing every 5 days that is killing me, especially since I have to use a push mower to mow well over two acres as it is. An all day affair to be sure.

There are some wildflowers that the state of Tennessee plants in the middle of some of our interstates that are an orange poppy looking flower that are really nice and don't look too, "weedy", and in fact look more like a native prairie grass that I enjoy.

I am hoping to end up in a few years with an edible-flowered landscape that is low maintenance and requires less time and is more wildlife friendly.

(chuckling) the perfect yard.
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Old 03-08-2008, 10:14 AM
 
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Sounds beautiful.....

lots of pics of TN wildflowers here...

Tennessee Wildflowers
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:36 AM
 
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Several years ago one of our neighbors seeded their yard with a wildflower mix, and for that first summer their yard was BEAUTIFUL! They did absolutely nothing to it that next summer, no mowing or re-sowing, and that summer they had a yard full of weeds with the occasional blooming daisy. I am not sure how you would go about getting a great season of blooms year after year, but I am thinking you might need to re-seed each year.
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Old 03-09-2008, 09:02 AM
 
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Have you considered herbaceous perennial wildflowers such as Gaillardia "Blanket Flower". You can try an internet search for herbaceous perennial wildflowers and find all kinds of resources. I planted a section of my backyard with Gaillardia and it is maintenence free, survives periods of drought and crowds out the undesirable weeds. It reseeds itself. I am in zone 9. There are so many others also. I will be trying coreopsis, milkweed, and ironweed this next year.
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Old 03-09-2008, 11:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andthentherewere3 View Post
Several years ago one of our neighbors seeded their yard with a wildflower mix, and for that first summer their yard was BEAUTIFUL! They did absolutely nothing to it that next summer, no mowing or re-sowing, and that summer they had a yard full of weeds with the occasional blooming daisy. I am not sure how you would go about getting a great season of blooms year after year, but I am thinking you might need to re-seed each year.
Yeah, this is my biggest fear. To have a lovely hillside full in bloom only to be followed by the next year with weed mountain.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SouthernBelle3 View Post
Have you considered herbaceous perennial wildflowers such as Gaillardia "Blanket Flower". You can try an internet search for herbaceous perennial wildflowers and find all kinds of resources. I planted a section of my backyard with Gaillardia and it is maintenence free, survives periods of drought and crowds out the undesirable weeds. It reseeds itself. I am in zone 9. There are so many others also. I will be trying coreopsis, milkweed, and ironweed this next year.
I have heard of the blanket flower and I believe it will grow here so I will check it out along with the others you mentioned.

I am not familiar with all the various species of wildflowers and I would probably prefer to stick with native types since I won't have to worry about adaptation or being overrun.

I have also been looking into some flowering ground cover like Walk on Me and Creeping Phlox. Even though they apparently take longer to establish and spread, in the long term they may look much nicer. (at least along my walking areas)

Thanks for all the info folks.
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Old 03-09-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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If possible, check with a nursery that specializes in native plants. There are seed mixes out there tailored to specific areas, some with up to ten varieties of wildflowers.

I would recommend perennials, unless the mix contains some annuals that vigorously re-seed themselves. Also, you want plant varieties that are aggressive spreaders, basically something that comes as close to being a weed as possible, without actually being a weed. If that makes sense.

Hopefully you don't/won't have allergies to anything you seed. Also, don't rule out plants like dandelions. Grass lovers hate them, but they are a low-growing, aggressive, colorful and actually-useful plant.
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:56 AM
 
11,128 posts, read 12,373,924 times
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Originally Posted by Tim Rankin View Post

Hopefully you don't/won't have allergies to anything you seed. Also, don't rule out plants like dandelions. Grass lovers hate them, but they are a low-growing, aggressive, colorful and actually-useful plant.
Funny you should bring this up as I wouldn't have otherwise admitted it. There happens to be a field near my place that has a field full of dandelions, and I thought to myself, heck, they look great... why does everyone hate these things so much.
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Old 03-10-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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Default a couple more suggestions

TN - When I lived in Md, sometimes I used to raise the lawnmower level up a bit when certain "weeds" were flowering, so as not to trim the flowers off. There was some kind of low-growing plants with blue flowers that really looked nice.

If you cut back on the frequency of cutting, you may also give some plants the break they need to establish themselves [of course, some of those plants may be weeds]. I've seen some beautiful pastures that were only cut 2-3 times per season. That may not be feasible though, if there are neighborhood or HOA restrictions regarding lawn appearance.
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