Prairie – July 28, 2013

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Over the past week, Grayhead Coneflowers have been blooming profusely giving a nice contrast to all the green in the prairie. Purple Coneflowers and Wild Bergamot are also doing well giving additional color. Planted in 2010, this is the third full growing season for our prairie and it’s really taking off this year. The early spring burn followed by late spring rains have stimulated the natives and we are seeing less weeds each year. They say it takes 5-6 years for a prairie to fully establish so we are halfway there.

View from beginning of path.

View from beginning of path.

 

The back of the prairie has really filled in with a lot less weeds than previous years.

The back of the prairie has really filled in with a lot less weeds than previous years.

 

Grayhead Coneflowers with Sideoats Grama grass.

Grayhead Coneflowers with Sideoats Grama grass.

 

Some areas have more grasses, and other areas have more wildflowers, which gives nice diversity and texture.

Some areas have more grasses, and other areas have more wildflowers, which gives nice diversity and texture.

 

Little Bluestem grass

Little Bluestem grass

 

Path along North side has a nice mixture of Little Bluestem and Sideoats Grama grasses.

Path along North side has a nice mixture of Little Bluestem and Sideoats Grama grasses.

 

Wild Bergamot seeds were put down in December 2011 and have established well. The flowers are bee magnets.

Wild Bergamot seeds were put down in December 2011 and have established well. The flowers are bee magnets.

 

Anise Hyssop was also seeded in December 2011 and I've seen about 5 flowering so far.

Anise Hyssop was also seeded in December 2011 and I’ve seen about 5 flowering so far.

 

Anise Hyssop macro. The leaves of this plant smell like licorice when crushed.

Anise Hyssop macro. The leaves of this plant smell like licorice when crushed.

 

Hoary Vervain is another seeded in December 2011. This one is just starting to bloom.

Hoary Vervain is another seeded in December 2011. This one is just starting to bloom.

 

Morning dew on Little Bluestem.

Morning dew on Little Bluestem.

 

Large milkweed bug on Common Milkweed.

Large milkweed bug on Common Milkweed.

 

Sideoats Grama grass flower

Sideoats Grama grass flower

 

Don't know what this bug is but they love feeding on Common Milkweed.

Don’t know what this bug is but they love feeding on Common Milkweed.

 

Canada Wildrye grass.

Canada Wildrye grass.

 

Showy Partridge Pea leaves. This flower is just starting to bloom.

Showy Partridge Pea leaves. This flower is just starting to bloom.

 

Ohio Spiderwort with morning dew and "busy" bees.

Ohio Spiderwort with morning dew and “busy” bees.

 

12 Comments
  1. Corner Garden Sue July 30, 2013 at 8:16 am

    Hi Mike, I just found you from your comment on Chris’s blog. I love your place and your photos! I live in the middle of Lincoln, and while I keep telling myself I will never have a prairie, I do have a number of prairie plants, and am having fun seeing all of the insects and birds that come our way.

    • Mike Suiter July 30, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Sue, thanks for the compliments. The wildlife loves our little prairie and it’s amazing all the insects it attracts.

  2. gail July 30, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Beautiful! I love prairies and miss them dearly. Thank you for a look at your garden and your wonderful photos.

    • Mike Suiter July 30, 2013 at 9:37 pm

      Thanks Gail. I’m having fun playing around with my macro trying to learn how to use it.

  3. Corner Garden Sue July 30, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    Mike, Gail and I both have blogs, too. Did you know that if you click on our names, you can find links to them?

    • Mike Suiter July 30, 2013 at 9:16 pm

      Sue – all 3 people that responded have blogs and looks like I have some browsing to do tonight.

  4. Benjamin Vogt July 30, 2013 at 4:55 pm

    Fantastic! I LOVE what you are doing! I’m on the board of Wachiska Audubon, a prairie conservation group in southeast Nebraska — and have a modest 1,500′ native plant garden in Lincoln. Would you sometime be open to a visit to look at your project? I also garden coach (Monarch Gardens), and have helped people on small acreages in the beginning stages of prairie planting.

    • Mike Suiter July 30, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      Benjamin, I would enjoy having people visit my prairie and getting their opinion on how it’s doing. There’s a path mowed through it which allows easy viewing. I don’t know if you saw the page with all the details of it?

      http://suiteronline.com/prairie/

      I currently have a 2000′ woodland project going in our backyard. It was mainly brome, fescue, and dames rocket which I killed of last year and put down seed in December. I mow it every 2 weeks so it’s very boring right now.

  5. Benjamin Vogt July 31, 2013 at 10:00 am

    Shoot, I don’t even know what city you’re in! That would determine a potential visit. 🙂

    • Mike Suiter July 31, 2013 at 11:13 am

      South of Springfield

  6. Improved Ecosystems August 1, 2013 at 7:45 am

    Awesome pictures and plants! It really is true about prairies taking off the third year. Do you collect seed?

    • Mike Suiter August 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I have not collected seed in the past but thinking of doing it this year in my prairie. I don’t know how much work it is but will at least try. I figure it’s a free way to add more seed to the areas that are slower to establish because of weeds.

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