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

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

Simply ask immediately’s visitor, Neil Diboll, who has operated Prairie Nursery in Wisconsin for 42 years, since lengthy earlier than phrases like “pollinator backyard” had been trendy. He’ll share a few of his favourite species it’s possible you’ll not know, and in addition 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, as an 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 Vegetation” (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 duplicate of the e-book.

Learn alongside as you take heed to the June 3, 2024 version of my public-radio present and podcast utilizing the participant beneath. You may 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 e-book, Neil; it’s so critical, but in addition accessible. I don’t know in the event you might be each issues on the similar time, however one way or the other it’s. So congratulations on that.

Neil Diboll: Thanks.

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

Neil: Oh, sure, sure. Let’s simply say we had been a bit of forward of the curve on this. So there was some fairly laborious 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 good distance, but it surely feels one way or the other to me—I assume as a result of I get quite a lot of reader and listener questions—it feels to me like within the mainstream horticulture market, the analysis and growth 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 assume schooling is likely one of the most necessary components, and I completely agree, listening to what individuals 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, you could ensure 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 somewhat than recreating nature in our personal picture, if you’ll, we’re utilizing nature’s ideas to create a mannequin of nature. So somewhat than a homocentric backyard, it’s a extra of a nature-centric mannequin. And that basically helps to tell gardeners so far as how you can use these crops and how you can 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, knowledgeable gardeners, we’d purchase our hostas and our astilbe and our this and that. I simply talked about some shade crops, however I might point out solar crops, too. We put them down and 30 years later, they’re basically in the identical place that they was [laughter]. what I imply? We knew how you can handle them, we knew what they wanted. We knew when to chop them again. We sort of knew the routine. They had been the acquainted palette. And these should not essentially.

And as you’re mentioning, we’re not simply plunking issues down, “Ooh, look, that’ll look fairly over right here, and this may look fairly over there,” we’re creating communities. And that’s a complete totally different mindset. So I get quite a lot of questions from people who find themselves thrown off by, properly, how do I make this all work? It’s a bit of 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 critical gardeners are attending to know native crops and making use of ecological ideas in how they design with them, how they handle them, and many others.

Particularly past simply the usage of the crops as one thing aesthetic for human beings, however somewhat 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 somewhat than spraying all the things 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 type the inspiration of the meals chain that feed all the things 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 shouldn’t be the aim [laughter]. And a static image, as I mentioned, I’ve hostas they usually’re nonetheless in the identical place the place I put them, as I mentioned, and I might 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 form of sizzling 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 numerous wildflowers which might be extra predominant within the Japanese a part of america, often a decrease profile. And a prairie is de facto 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 after all is the French phrase for meadow. However while you have a look at the best way the phrases, the phrases are used now, meadow often refers to a lower-growing profile, wildflower, meadow. And you may have a brief prairie, however a brief prairie continues to be 1 to five toes tall relying upon the constituents. So it’s nonetheless typically a taller plant group and typical of the Midwest somewhat than the East.

Margaret: So I hear from individuals who transitioned an space to a meadow or a prairie, often, once more, I’m within the East, so I hear from particularly quite a lot of Easterners they usually 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 liked my black-eyed Susans,” Rudbeckia hirta [above]. Some members of that group 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 may create a prairie backyard with transplants, the place you possibly can choose long-lived crops in order for you it to be extra static. And that’s why in our e-book, we listed vegetation expectations. We don’t have any annuals in there, however now we have a couple of biennials, after all, 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 reside 20, 30, 40, 50 years and longer.

Margaret: I liked that Neil, I liked it. I imply, I’ve by no means seen the life expectancy listed in any e-book about crops. And while 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. what I imply? That’s a keeper that’s staying round. It settles down, and it’s there.

Neil: Effectively, I believe that is actually necessary for gardeners, so that they know what they’re getting. As you level out, what occurred to my Rudbeckia hirta? Effectively, 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 one more 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 necessary for individuals to know ecological succession, whereby while you seed onto open floor, often 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 retaining all the things mowed again, often to about 6 inches within the first rising season.

After which you could have 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 all the things’s going based on plan.

After which what’s attention-grabbing is the precise variety of whole variety of prairie crops often 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 reside 10 to 20-plus years.

So it’s sort of disappointing generally while you see a few of your favourite crops possibly going by the wayside. However with disturbance… and that is actually necessary, and disturbance is available in many kinds. There’s ripping the bottom up, there’s animal exercise, however the one we often use is managed burning.

With managed burning, you’ll be able to sort of set succession again and hold what we name gap-phase succession the place you could have 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 de facto an necessary facet of this. In fact, lots of people can’t burn or don’t need to burn. It’s really very simple to burn in the event you arrange your panorama appropriately. And it’s actually quite a lot of enjoyable as you realize.

Margaret: There’s a complete part in your e-book about it, and once I first met you, you couldn’t wait to convey me and Ken Druse to your house the place you had been making a prairie. You had a younger prairie backyard in your entrance yard, I believe, and also you wished to point out us a managed burn. And so once more, you instruct how you can do it within the e-book.

Effectively, I like that you simply mentioned that we might use a few of these crops as form of specimens. Let’s imagine, “I’m going to make a mattress of those prairie crops, not a group.” So we might 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 while you use seeds, it’s going to be an evolutionary course of. However after all, we need to have these early-successional, mid-successional species. So now we have curiosity in 12 months 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 20, and on, but it surely sort of reaches extra of a stasis after about 15 years or so. Nevertheless it’s not unhealthy. You continue to have a lot of flowers and exquisite grasses, so there’s just a few species that will fall by the wayside over an prolonged time frame.

Margaret: And also you simply mentioned grasses. And that’s an necessary part as a result of simply selecting a complete lot of flowers, quite a lot of forbs, shouldn’t be going to do it, shouldn’t be going to carry all of it collectively and create that group, as a result of these had been crops which might 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 who have tried to plant simply wildflowers. And it may be finished, but it surely’s a bit of 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 permit 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 significantly scale back that hazard by having enough amount of grass in your meadow or backyard. In order that they’re actually sort 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 enough grass in it to maintain weeds out as greatest as potential.

And in addition, in the event you’re going to burn a prairie, flower sticks, outdated flower sticks don’t burn. You want what we name nice gas—grass—with a view to carry a fireplace. So in the event you don’t have grass in your prairie, it principally gained’t burn. And then you definately lose that nice administration choice for retaining it very contemporary and new and looking out good and retaining out weeds and timber and shrubs, as a result of hearth is de facto one of the simplest ways to maintain out invaders, most invaders. And individuals are scared of fireplace. Effectively, really on our web site, I’ve an article below sources and guides, it’s referred to as “Find out how to Burn Your Prairie Safely,” and there’s so many recommendations on how to do that.

So I imply, it’s virtually inconceivable to lose it in the event you do it proper. And one actually easy trick is simply earlier than you burn it, simply reduce all the things down and all of the gas is on the bottom. As a substitute of getting large 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 best way, exterior my window—although I’ve closed the window, the home wren is insistent on being on this program immediately, so you possibly can hear him screaming.

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

Margaret: [Laughter.] Somewhat bossy creature. Yeah. So we had been speaking about making this dwelling mulch in a way by having the part of grasses with the wildflowers, the forbs, and that it makes it extra weed-resistant. The opposite query I get requested rather a lot is when weeds do come via, particularly within the early years that I don’t need, ought to I pull them out as a result of then that 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 chunk of cardboard or no matter? Is there any weeding recommendation in any respect for these sort of communities?

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

Margaret: Perhaps, yeah.

Neil: O.Okay. Effectively, in the event you have a look at it, you must have a look at it strategically, and you could know your weeds. The truth is, once I first began doing this again in 1977, I used to be taking a look at plantings that somebody had finished 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 study my weeds first, which really was very helpful.

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

Margaret: We’ve got 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 troublesome after you have a longtime inhabitants of it.

Or what you are able to do is you possibly can kill all of it off. After which right here’s a bit of trick. When you have a long-term downside with the seed financial institution, you possibly can kill all the things off with whichever methodology 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 might probably creep in. After which you possibly can put 3 inches of contemporary, clear, topsoil over that which can bury the weed seed financial institution, after which you possibly can seed or plant your crops into that contemporary soil, assuming that it doesn’t have another problematic weeds. So this works on a small space, it’s not going to work on a bigger space.

However when you could have 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 excellent, clear topsoil over that, that won’t have weed seeds. However in the event you have a look at this, you could know who you’re up towards. 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 while you pull the weeds, you undoubtedly, invariably convey 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 hold all the things 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 now we have downside weeds with biennials like burdock, candy clovers, wild parsnip, quite a lot of these guys can actually be an issue. So proper after they end blooming, we reduce them right down to 12 inches, which then stops the seed formation course of.

Margaret: Proper, O.Okay.

Neil: And kills the crops excluding Queen Anne’s lace, which is an indeterminate bloomer and would require fixed reducing 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 towards, you could have a method. Yeah.

Neil: Precisely. And that data is within the e-book, “The Gardener’s Information to Prairie Vegetation.” It’s additionally on our web site. So there’s a lot of sources right here the place individuals can get to know these crops and what to do. However once more, you must know who you’re up towards and know how you can strategically management them.

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

Neil: Yeah, precisely.

Margaret: So after we did the Instances story, we talked about how although everybody nearly 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 bought in catalogs promoting in California, for goodness sake. However there’s so many all over the place it appears [laughter]. However there’s so many nice prairie natives for the Japanese half or two-thirds of the nation, which is I assume roughly talking, quite a lot of them are your specialties, that folks don’t know but. And I assumed it might be enjoyable to only 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 individuals are oriented towards the showy flowers. And let’s not overlook 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 widespread for a very long time, simply not right here. However let’s have a look at another crops that maybe are a bit of extra muted or are good companions for a number of the showier crops.

And I actually like quite a lot of the white-flowered crops, and white-flowered crops additionally notably good for bees and parasitoid wasps, which assist to manage pests in your backyard. Certainly one of my favorites is Culver’s root, Veronicastrum virginicum [top of page]. It’s a stately, elegant plant. It’s about 5 toes 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 can develop in moist soil. It doesn’t like dry soil. It can develop in full solar, and it’ll develop partly shade. So it’s a reasonably versatile plant, so long as you give it an excellent backyard soil or perhaps a barely damp soil.

One other nice plant is the rattlesnake grasp, Eryngium yuccifolium [below], attractive foliage, excellent flowers, which can bloom for a reasonably prolonged time frame. Only a actually attention-grabbing, odd-looking plant, but it surely 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 a lot of totally different colours. White is the second commonest coloration of prairie flowers.

Margaret: I didn’t know that.

Neil: Yeah, it’s superb. And so rattlesnake grasp is also pollinated virtually 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 mentioned, “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 assume they received that concept for the film? From nature. So he says, “My prairie is my pesticide.” And so quite a lot 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 the event you plant a prairie combine with 20, 25, 30 species, you promote them, get 100%. Mom nature’s fairly tough. However I imply, in the event you get 70, 80 % 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 many butterflies come. And naturally the bees, the wasps and all people.

And individuals are so afraid 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 may assault you if you’re not bothering them. Hornets gained’t hassle you. Mud daubers gained’t hassle you, cicada killers gained’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 typically 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 charge, 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. Instantly, they’re tremendous widespread 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 decisions for attracting pollinators, they usually’re fairly adaptable species.

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

Neil: That’s a fantastic plant for a dry, sandy soil. When you have a patio with sand in between the stones, it’ll develop in there. It stays actually low. It likes not less than a half a day of solar, but it surely stays very low. It has stunning silvery leaves.

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

So it’ll develop in super-, super-difficult websites like sandy hillsides and locations like that, or alongside sidewalks, but it surely doesn’t like clay. So that you need to have a very good-draining soil. However when you could have these spots which might be actual sizzling spots, like up towards the south facet 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, but it surely’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. This can be 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 toes tall, so it’s one other actually good groundcover-ish plant. It doesn’t creep and type 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 troublesome soils, too, very dry soils. And the Ruellia can be tolerant of sizzling, dry circumstances. So these are actually good decisions in order for you some low-growing crops, particularly in robust, sizzling conditions.

Margaret: Effectively, I’ll embody some hyperlinks to a few of the academic stuff in your web site, as a result of as you mentioned firstly, schooling’s been a very necessary a part of working with a product that folks didn’t actually, and nonetheless don’t totally, learn about, and are simply studying about. I at all times study rather a lot from you, Neil, even once I’m not at your own home and also you’re not setting your entrance garden on hearth to terrify me [laughter].

Neil: Effectively, it’s been some time. Margaret. Subsequent spring it is best to come, and we’ll do an anniversary prairie hearth.

Margaret: O.Okay. Extra trauma [laughter]. Effectively, thanks a lot. Thanks for making time immediately.

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.)

enter to win the prairie crops information

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

Have you ever added any native crops to your panorama in recent times? Inform us (and inform us the place you backyard).

No reply, or feeling shy? Simply say one thing like “rely me in” and I’ll, however a reply is even higher. I’ll choose a random winner after entries shut at midnight Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Good luck to all.

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MY WEEKLY public-radio present, rated a “top-5 backyard podcast” by “The Guardian” newspaper within the UK, started its fifteenth 12 months in March 2024. It’s produced at Robin Hood Radio, the smallest NPR station within the nation. Hear domestically within the Hudson Valley (NY)-Berkshires (MA)-Litchfield Hills (CT) Mondays at 8:30 AM Japanese, rerun at 8:30 Saturdays. Or play the June 3, 2024 present utilizing the participant close to the highest of this transcript. You may subscribe to all future editions on iTunes/Apple Podcasts or Spotify (and browse my archive of podcasts right here).

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