Planting Instructions for Native Plants
Native & Prairie Plant Planting Instructions
Site preparation prior to planting
Proper site preparation reduces competition by weeds and other plants for light, water and nutrients, helping assure better plant survival. Planting native plants into an area or garden bed that has been prepared by tilling or treating with herbicide to kill existing vegetation is suggested.
Suggested plant spacing
Native plants tend to put on the most spectacular show when grouped together. Try planting multiple plants of the same species near one another. Space plants about 1-2 feet apart. If you are going to plant multiple species in one bed, consider placing the taller plants in the back and shorter ones toward the front of the bed. Refer to a field guide for heights of each plant species.
Carefully hold the native plant plug to ensure soil remains intact around the root system.
- Plant the plugs as soon as possible after the plants are received. Dig a hole slightly larger than the size of the plug (try using a bulb planter) so the roots have room to spread out.
- Loosely fill the hole with soil around the plug. Firm soil around roots to eliminate air pockets. Planting is this fashion greatly reduces transplant shock.
- Watering plants may be necessary immediately after planting. As the season progresses, watering should only be used to supplement rainfall shortages. Fall plantings can be watered until frost, if rain is sparse.
- Mulching can be used to help reduce weed competition, conserve moisture,
and for Fall plantings, help plants over-winter and protect newly planted
Native plants are hardy and will adapt to various site conditions, but growth can be enhanced using these maintenance suggestions.
- Remove unwanted weeds and apply additional mulch as needed.
- Watering after the year of establishment is not generally needed or suggested.
- Allow tops of plants to die back in the Fall. In March, while plants are dormant and not actively growing, mow, trim or burn foliage.
- Fertilizing native plants is not generally recommended or needed.
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