prairie and meadow plantings, succession and extra, with neil diboll

INTEREST AND AWARENESS round native crops has been trending lately, and it makes them really feel nearly new. However in fact natives are the unique crops of an space, and even in sure specialty corners of the nursery business, they’ve been round far longer than they’ve been making headlines.

Simply ask in the present day’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” had been modern. He’ll share a few of his favourite species chances are you’ll not know, and likewise some recommendation on what to anticipate over time managing meadow- and prairie-style plantings, in case you’re amongst these gardeners contemplating transitioning a part of your garden, for example.

Neil has been president and consulting ecologist for Prairie Nursery in Westfield, Wisc., since 1982. Final 12 months, in collaboration with backyard designer and horticulturist Hilary Cox, he revealed “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops” (affiliate hyperlink), a complete information to utilizing prairie crops in gardens and bigger restorations. (Above, Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum.)

Plus: Remark within the field close to the underside of the web page to enter to win a replica of the ebook.

Learn alongside as you take heed to the June 3, 2024 version of my public-radio present and podcast utilizing the participant beneath. You possibly can subscribe to all future editions on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

speaking prairie crops, with neil diboll



Margaret Roach: I like the ebook, Neil; it’s so severe, but additionally accessible. I don’t know in case you might be each issues on the similar time, however in some way it’s. So congratulations on that.

Neil Diboll: Thanks.

Margaret: So we did a current “New York Occasions” backyard column collectively, however that wasn’t the primary time I met you. I met you 30-something years in the past after I was engaged on a ebook referred to as “The Pure Habitat Backyard” with Ken Druse, and we came around you and study all issues prairie from you. And again then, natives, you jogged my memory after we labored on the current Occasions piece, had been extra more likely to be thought of weeds than modern [laughter]. Sure?

Neil: Oh, sure, sure. Let’s simply say we had been a bit forward of the curve on this. So there was some fairly arduous years making an attempt to persuade individuals to make use of natives once they weren’t accustomed to figuring out something about them.

Margaret: Yeah, we’ve come a great distance, however it feels in some way to me—I suppose as a result of I get a number of reader and listener questions—it feels to me like within the mainstream horticulture market, the analysis and improvement and advertising and marketing efforts have been actually to invent flashy new types of natives and promote, promote, promote them possibly greater than to coach the shoppers. And I do know you suppose schooling is without doubt one of the most essential elements, and I completely agree, listening to what persons are confounded by.

Neil: Yeah, schooling is super-important, particularly when 40 years in the past we had a product that no person knew about, and so we needed to educate. And to ensure that individuals to make use of your product correctly, to make use of these crops correctly, it’s good to ensure that they perceive them and the way they work together with one another.

So gardening with native prairie crops, individuals can create mini-ecosystems or plant communities, and that’s actually a radical idea as a result of now you’re not simply plunking in a plant like this or a plant like that, however you’re really utilizing a local ecosystem as your mannequin for a backyard. And so fairly than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s ideas to create a mannequin of nature. So fairly than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that actually helps to tell gardeners so far as the way to use these crops and the way to use them to create low-maintenance, high-quality habitat.

Margaret: And simply to that time that you simply’re making, I imply, after we long-time gardeners, even skilled, professional gardeners, we’d purchase our hostas and our astilbe and our this and that. I simply talked about some shade crops, however I may point out solar crops, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re basically in the identical place that they was [laughter]. You recognize what I imply? We knew the way to handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We type of knew the routine. They had been the acquainted palette. And these will not be essentially.

And as you’re mentioning, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and it will look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s a complete totally different mindset. So I get a number of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, properly, how do I make this all work? It’s a bit complicated.

Neil: And it helps to know your crops, and lots of gardeners know their crops phenomenally properly, however they’re simply totally different crops. And so what we’re seeing now could be that severe gardeners are attending to know native crops and making use of ecological ideas in how they design with them, how they handle them, and so forth.

Particularly past simply using the crops as one thing aesthetic for human beings, however fairly as a habitat backyard, and what I name a three way partnership with nature, the place we meet nature midway. So we invite nature into our gardens. And fairly than spraying the whole lot to maintain the bugs off, we really invite the bugs. As a result of in my backyard or my meadows, if I don’t have holes within the leaves of my crops, I’m an utter failure as a gardener as a result of I’m not supporting pollinators, I’m not supporting birds. The bugs that kind the inspiration of the meals chain that feed the whole lot up, they’re going to eat my crops, and that’s why half the rationale why these crops are there, not only for me, however for all of us.

Margaret: Proper. Perfectionism isn’t the purpose [laughter]. And a static image, as I stated, I’ve hostas and so they’re nonetheless in the identical place the place I put them, as I stated, and I may have put them there 30 years in the past. And basically, they’re larger, however they’re nonetheless there. However with let’s say… and possibly we should always inform the distinction between what’s a meadow versus a prairie planting as a result of that’s kind of scorching now, is to make a meadow or transition some garden to meadow or to prairie. What’s the distinction out of your ecologist’s viewpoint?

Neil: Between meadow and prairie?

Margaret: Yeah.

Neil: Yeah. Typically within the lexicon, a meadow is considered as a extra cool-season grass, with grasses that come up early in spring, with varied wildflowers which can be extra predominant within the Jap a part of america, normally a decrease profile. And a prairie is absolutely the outline of the Midwestern tall-grass prairie, which was encountered by early French explorers within the seventeenth, 18th centuries. They usually discovered these large meadows with these tall grasses, and the phrase they used to explain them was prairie, which in fact is the French phrase for meadow. However whenever you have a look at the way in which the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow normally refers to a lower-growing profile, wildflower, meadow. And you’ll have a brief prairie, however a brief prairie remains to be 1 to five ft tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless usually a taller plant neighborhood and typical of the Midwest fairly than the East.

Margaret: So I hear from individuals who transitioned an space to a meadow or a prairie, normally, once more, I’m within the East, so I hear from particularly a number of Easterners and so they say, meadow, “I’ve a brand new meadow backyard or no matter.” “I’m managing my meadow.” And within the third 12 months, I don’t see my black-eyed Susans. There’s no extra black-eyed Susans. And I cherished my black-eyed Susans,” Rudbeckia hirta [above]. Some members of that neighborhood that they thought was going to remain static, keep like a postcard picture perpetually, and it’s evolving, proper? So uh-oh, succession [laughter].

Neil: Precisely, yeah. And let’s have a look at the 2 other ways you should utilize these crops. You possibly can create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you may choose long-lived crops if you need it to be extra static. And that’s why in our ebook, we listed vegetation expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however we’ve got a couple of biennials, in fact, with a life expectancy of two years. After which short-lived perennials three to 5 years, after which mid-successional perennials 5 to 10 years, after which later successional perennials 10 to twenty, after which lastly the Methuselah crops that dwell 20, 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

Margaret: I cherished that Neil, I cherished it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any ebook about crops. And whenever you did that, and it was like “Baptisia, 20-plus years,” and I used to be like, proper, that factor is anchored within the floor. You recognize what I imply? That’s a keeper that’s staying round. It settles down, and it’s there.

Neil: Nicely, I believe that is actually essential for gardeners, so that they know what they’re getting. As you level out, what occurred to my Rudbeckia hirta? Nicely, it’s a biennial, and naturally you’re referring to a seed combine the place being a biennial, it’s simply fairly dominant in a second 12 months, and it would cling on for an additional couple of years, however by the fifth or sixth 12 months, it’s just about gone due to, as you identified, ecological succession.

And that is actually essential for individuals to know ecological succession, whereby whenever you seed onto open floor, normally the primary 12 months it’s all weeds, which you didn’t plant. They’re simply dormant seeds within the soil, and also you management them by conserving the whole lot mowed again, normally to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you’ve biennials that present up in a second 12 months, just like the black-eyed Susan and weedy biennials. And oftentimes you’ll must mow these within the second 12 months. After which the third 12 months, the extra quickly maturing perennials of the prairie flowers and grasses begin to present up. And by the fifth 12 months, it’s just about a prairie, if the whole lot’s going in line with plan.

After which what’s attention-grabbing is the precise variety of whole variety of prairie crops normally peaks round 12 months 12 or 15. After which it begins to drop barely because the early successional and mid-successional perennials give method to these longer-lived crops that dwell 10 to 20-plus years.

So it’s type of disappointing typically whenever you see a few of your favourite crops possibly going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually essential, and disturbance is available in many varieties. There’s ripping the bottom up, there’s animal exercise, however the one we normally use is managed burning.

With managed burning, you’ll be able to type of set succession again and maintain what we name gap-phase succession the place you’ve open soil the place a few of these different species that might be shorter-lived, can recede and proceed to keep up as a lot variety as potential. So burning is absolutely an essential facet of this. After all, lots of people can’t burn or don’t need to burn. It’s really very straightforward to burn in case you arrange your panorama appropriately. And it’s actually a number of enjoyable as .

Margaret: There’s a complete part in your ebook about it, and after I first met you, you couldn’t wait to deliver me and Ken Druse to your own home the place you had been making a prairie. You had a younger prairie backyard in your entrance yard, I believe, and also you needed to point out us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct the way to do it within the ebook.

Nicely, I like that you simply stated that we may use a few of these crops as kind of specimens. Let’s imagine, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie crops, not a neighborhood.” So we may do this and management it extra, however when it’s extra like a meadow or a prairie, the succession goes to take maintain and so forth.

Neil: And whenever you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However in fact, we need to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So we’ve got curiosity in 12 months 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and on, however it type of reaches extra of a stasis after about 15 years or so. Nevertheless it’s not dangerous. You continue to have numerous flowers and exquisite grasses, so there’s just a few species which will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time period.

Margaret: And also you simply stated grasses. And that’s an essential element as a result of simply selecting a complete lot of flowers, a number of forbs, isn’t going to do it, isn’t going to carry all of it collectively and create that neighborhood, as a result of these had been crops which can be accustomed to having partnerships with grasses.

Neil: Sure. And prairies are grasslands, meadows are grasslands, and so you actually can’t have one with out the grass, and those that have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be achieved, however it’s a bit trickier for a lot of causes. Primary, it’s the fibrous roots of the grasses that assist to discourage weeds, as a result of they don’t enable any open soil on the floor of the bottom. And in order that’s the place most weeds get established. There are at all times going to be weeds that may blow in and trigger issues, however you’ll drastically cut back that hazard by having adequate amount of grass in your meadow or backyard. In order that they’re actually type of your weeders. Like I say, make the crops do the give you the results you want. I don’t need to go on the market and weed. I’m going to design this backyard or design this prairie seed combine so it’s going to have adequate grass in it to maintain weeds out as finest as potential.

And likewise, in case you’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, previous flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name positive gasoline—grass—with the intention to carry a hearth. So in case you don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally received’t burn. And then you definately lose that nice administration choice for conserving it very contemporary and new and searching good and conserving out weeds and timber and shrubs, as a result of hearth is absolutely one of the best ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And persons are scared of fireside. Nicely, really on our web site, I’ve an article below assets and guides, it’s referred to as “Learn how to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many recommendations on how to do that.

So I imply, it’s nearly inconceivable to lose it in case you do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply lower the whole lot down and all of the gasoline is on the bottom. As a substitute of getting massive flames, it’s simply creeping alongside the bottom. And so it’s so easy. It’s very easy.

Margaret: I’m sorry that the home wren, by the way in which, outdoors my window—regardless that I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program in the present day, so you may hear him screaming.

Neil: Oh, yeah, that’s good. It’s good to have a companion on the present.

Margaret: [Laughter.] Slightly bossy creature. Yeah. So we had been speaking about making this dwelling mulch in a way by having the element of grasses with the wildflowers, the forbs, and that it makes it extra weed-resistant. The opposite query I get requested lots is when weeds do come by means of, particularly within the early years that I don’t need, ought to I pull them out as a result of then which will open up one other house within the soil? Ought to I pull them out and attempt to do the least opening of soil potential or put one thing on it, like a bit of cardboard or no matter? Is there any weeding recommendation in any respect for these type of communities?

Neil: Yeah, as soon as once more, you’re speaking a few seeded meadow, seeded prairie, proper?

Margaret: Perhaps, yeah.

Neil: O.Okay. Nicely, in case you have a look at it, you need to have a look at it strategically, and it’s good to know your weeds. Actually, after I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be taking a look at plantings that somebody had achieved on the college the place I went to high school, and it was a really new planting so all I discovered had been weeds. So I needed to be taught my weeds first, which really was very useful.

As a result of in case you have a look at weeds, you have a look at them because the species that can trigger issues in a grassland, you’ve annuals, which present up largely within the first 12 months and the second 12 months as properly. Then you’ve biennials. Now we’re speaking about herbaceous crops, annuals and biennials. After which you’ve perennial grasses, and you’ve got perennial rhizomatous grasses and perennial non-rhizomatous grasses. Then you’ve perennial broadleaf weeds, and people are additionally divided into rhizomatous and non-rhizomatous, with the rhizomatous species being the actual downside kids, these are those that creep all over. Issues like Canada thistle and discipline bindweed and horse nettle. These are actual, actual issues, and also you need to get them out as quickly as you presumably can. Crown vetch, oh, what a horrible plant.

Margaret: We now have mugwort, and I do know your recommendation for mugwort.

Neil: Oh, mugwort is like, oh, good luck with that.

Margaret: Relocate. Relocate [laughter].

Neil: Yeah, relocate. Recalibrate, sure. It’s so tough after getting a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you may kill all of it off. After which right here’s a bit trick. In case you have a long-term downside with the seed financial institution, you may kill the whole lot off with whichever technique you need to use, whether or not it’s smothering or repeated tilling or herbicide or no matter, till there’s completely none of that perennial weed left and none across the edges the place it may possibly creep in. After which you may put 3 inches of contemporary, clear, topsoil over that which is able to bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you may seed or plant your crops into that contemporary soil, assuming that it doesn’t have some other problematic weeds. So this works on a small space, it’s not going to work on a bigger space.

However when you’ve an issue website with a longterm historical past of actually nasty, thuggish weeds, that is the way you overcome them, by utterly eliminating the weeds after which placing 3 inches of fine, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However in case you have a look at this, it’s good to know who you’re up in opposition to. So so far as pulling weeds within the first 12 months of a seeded prairie, you by no means pull weeds, as a result of whenever you pull the weeds, you undoubtedly, invariably deliver up clumps of soil and there go your prairie seedlings with it. And also you may as properly go in there and spray it with Roundup. That’s why we maintain the whole lot mowed to six inches, as a result of few, if any of these prairie seedlings are going to develop greater than 6 inches within the first 12 months.

Within the second 12 months, if we’ve got downside weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, a number of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we lower them all the way down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Okay.

Neil: And kills the crops except Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed slicing again of the flowers. Then within the third 12 months…

Margaret: I used to be going to say strategic relying on what plant you’re up in opposition to, you’ve a method. Yeah.

Neil: Precisely. And that data is within the ebook, “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops.” It’s additionally on our web site. So there’s numerous assets right here the place individuals can get to know these crops and what to do. However once more, you need to know who you’re up in opposition to and know the way to strategically management them.

Margaret: Proper, perceive its life historical past and so forth. Yeah.

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So after we did the Occasions story, we talked about how regardless that everybody just about coast to coast is aware of purple coneflower, Echinacea purpurea, which by the way isn’t native coast to coast, however I even see it offered in catalogs promoting in California, for goodness sake. However there’s so many in every single place it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Jap half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I suppose roughly talking, a number of them are your specialties, that folks don’t know but. And I believed it might be enjoyable to simply take a couple of minutes to name out so we don’t run out of time. Take a couple of minutes to name out some that you simply want you knew higher, as a result of it’s not simply purple coneflower and Rudbeckia, proper? [Above, hybrid coneflowers combining genetics of Echinacea purpurea and E. pallida.]

Neil: Proper. And persons are oriented towards the showy flowers. And let’s not neglect that the English had been planting purple coneflower within the nineteenth century, after we had been plowing up the prairies. In order that plant’s been common for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s have a look at another crops that maybe are a bit extra muted or are good companions for a number of the showier crops.

And I actually like a number of the white-flowered crops, and white-flowered crops additionally notably good for bees and parasitoid wasps, which assist to regulate pests in your backyard. Considered one of my favorites is Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum [top of page]. It’s a stately, elegant plant. It’s about 5 ft tall. It has stunning whorled leaves up the stem and these pure white spires of flowers, completely pretty plant, and it’ll develop in clay. It’s going to develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It’s going to develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partially shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it a great backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], beautiful foliage, excellent flowers, which is able to bloom for a reasonably prolonged time period. Only a actually attention-grabbing, odd-looking plant, however it has actual character, and it blooms concurrently prairie blazingstar, Liatris pycnostachya. And you’ve got this lavender-white, fantastic pastel mixture.

That is the place the whites are so fantastic, and it’s attention-grabbing. Individuals consider prairies, oh, it’s all filled with yellow flowers, however really there’s numerous totally different colours. White is the second most typical colour of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s superb. And so rattlesnake grasp is also pollinated nearly solely by wasps, together with parasitic wasps. And I had a shopper who had horrible issues with tomato hornworm in his vegetable backyard. He planted a 1,000-square-foot prairie from us with a quarter-pound of prairie combine. And after the rattlesnake grasp began blooming, he stated, “I had no extra issues with tomato hornworms.”

And there’s a parasitic wasp that assaults the tomato hornworm by laying eggs on its again, which then burrow into the caterpillar, the caterpillar stage, and principally eats it from the within out and emerges like “Alien.” So the place do you suppose they bought that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so a number of natural gardeners will use these crops to draw parasitic wasps to maintain, hopefully, in lots of instances, to maintain their pests down.

Margaret: And everyone knows… That’s one instance, and never simply with parasitic wasps, however the extra variety, the extra layers of the meals chain are being supported, the extra assist there may be at each stage for any risk.

Neil: Oh, yeah. So true.

Margaret: Yeah. Meals and interventions each can be found.

Neil: So in case you plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get one hundred pc. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, in case you get 70, 80 p.c of that and also you get a large variety of flowers, you’re not simply feeding bugs, you’re additionally feeding birds as a result of they eat the bugs, and plenty of butterflies come. And naturally the bees, the wasps and everyone.

And persons are so terrified of wasps, however most wasps, they don’t hassle you. The one wasps you actually have to fret about are yellow jackets. These are the one ones that can assault you in case you are not bothering them. Hornets received’t hassle you. Mud daubers received’t hassle you, cicada killers received’t hassle you except you hassle them. However the yellow jacket, they’d simply as quickly sting as have a look at you. However they often don’t come to the prairie as a result of they eat doughnuts and hamburgers and soda cans.

Margaret: They go to the mall [laughter].

Neil: They go to the picnic.

Margaret: They go to the mall.

Neil: That’s the place they go, they’re not coming to your prairie. So price, one other sensible choice are the mountain mints, genus Pycnanthemum. These are simply pollinator havens, and we couldn’t give these away 20 years in the past. Abruptly, they’re tremendous common due to the curiosity in pollinators. And so Pycnanthemum is within the mint household, and it’s superb at what number of totally different species it attracts.

Margaret: And there’s a number of totally different mountain mints, I believe. I don’t know what number of you carry.

Neil: There’s tons. Pycnanthemum virginianum, Pycnanthemum tenuifolium, Pycnanthemum muticum [above]. All of those are actually good selections for attracting pollinators, and so they’re fairly adaptable species.

Margaret: One of many issues that folks ask me about lots, and I believe we talked about possibly one or two selections within the Occasions story, individuals need issues which can be low to the bottom, like groundcover-ish issues, as a result of that was what, in fact, as gardeners, we had been all hooked on groundcovers, and there’s not as many selections possibly, however there are some. I believe Antennaria, pussytoes is that one [below]?

Neil: That’s an awesome plant for a dry, sandy soil. In case you have a patio with sand in between the stones, it’ll develop in there. It stays actually low. It likes at the least a half a day of solar, however it stays very low. It has stunning silvery leaves.

And it really is dioecious: It has separate female and male crops. It’s arduous to inform the distinction except you stand up shut and private. Nevertheless it sends up these little flower stalks about 4 inches tall and these stunning whitish-green leaves, and so they particularly have these little white hairs to replicate solar as a result of they develop in very dry environments, the place it’s straightforward to get overheated.

So it’ll develop in super-, super-difficult websites like sandy hillsides and locations like that, or alongside sidewalks, however it doesn’t like clay. So that you need to have a extremely good-draining soil. However when you’ve these spots which can be actual scorching spots, like up in opposition to the south aspect of a home that get simply burned up, this can be a nice low-growing plant. And there’s another actually fantastic dry-tolerant prairie crops that attain taller heights as properly for these sorts of troublesome conditions.

Margaret: The final one I need to ask you about is there’s a petunia, however it’s not a petunia. It’s a Ruellia, I believe.

Neil: Yeah.

Margaret: Yeah. Is it a prairie petunia? Is that what it’s referred to as? What’s its frequent identify?

Neil: Prairie petunia, wild petunia, Ruellia humilis [above].

Margaret: Wild petunia, O.Okay.

Neil: Humilis: low-growing, humble, low-growing. It is a actually stunning plant with only a violet flower. And it has a single faucet root, after which it simply spreads out. It sends out these branches alongside the floor of the soil. It doesn’t get greater than a pair ft tall, so it’s one other actually good groundcover-ish plant. It doesn’t creep and kind a floor cowl just like the pussytoes, the place it really creeps by rhizomes or the wild strawberry [Fragaria virginiana] is one other good one, which creeps by rhizomes and can develop in very tough soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can be tolerant of scorching, dry situations. So these are actually good selections if you need some low-growing crops, particularly in powerful, scorching conditions.

Margaret: Nicely, I’ll embrace some hyperlinks to a few of the academic stuff in your web site, as a result of as you stated in the beginning, schooling’s been a extremely essential a part of working with a product that folks didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t absolutely, find out about, and are simply studying about. I at all times be taught lots from you, Neil, even after I’m not at your own home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on hearth to terrify me [laughter].

Neil: Nicely, it’s been some time. Margaret. Subsequent spring you need to come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie hearth.

Margaret: O.Okay. Extra trauma [laughter]. Nicely, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time in the present day.

Neil: It’s my pleasure, Margaret.

Margaret: Pull some extra invasives, I’m going to go do the identical. O.Okay.

Neil: All proper. It’s been fantastic. Thanks a lot.

(All photographs from Prairie Nursery, used with permission.)

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I’LL BUY A COPY of “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Crops,” by Neil Diboll and Hilary Cox, for one fortunate reader. All you need to do to enter is reply this query within the feedback field beneath:

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