How will I know the difference between a weed and a prairie plant?
Often times it is very difficult to tell the difference, especially when the plants are young. As a rule of thumb, the taller and faster growing plants in a first year planting are typically weeds (or cover crop). When a plant reaches maturity, it is much easier to identify, especially with the aid of a field guide. As your prairie matures and begins to take shape, it will become more obvious to you which are the desirable natives and which are the undesirable non-natives.
When will the planting first need to be mowed?
Typically the first mowing occurs when the weed growth reaches a point where it prevents sunlight from reaching the ground. This may occur within three weeks of planting or it may not happen for three months depending on the weather, soil types, etc. (If you are contracted with PRI for maintenance services, we will monitor your project for you and mow as needed). A mowing may also be necessary if the weeds are about to set seed.
Will I need to water?
In most cases, watering is not necessary. This is especially true when no live plants (seedlings) have been used on the project. In many cases, watering may benefit the weeds more than the prairie plants! If seedlings have been planted, it may be a good idea to water them if the weather is unusually warm and/or dry until more favorable weather returns.
Will foot traffic adversely affect the growth of my young prairie?
It is generally a good idea to tread lightly on a new planting, especially in loose, sandy soils (this includes pets as well!) Once the project has greened up and there is significant vegetation present (weeds, cover crop, prairie), you should be able to walk on the site with minimal risk to the young plants.
Who should I contact if I have any questions/concerns about my project?
At any time, feel free to contact the Restorationist who installed your project. He/she will be the primary contact for the life of your project. The management specialist assigned to your site may also be able to help out with specific questions.
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