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Managing Your Native Landscape

Native landscapes are amazing for many reasons. One is that if they are matched well to your site they should be relatively low maintenance - not NO maintenance, but low maintenance. Here are some ideas about what to plan for:

In gardens (small, designed spaces) you will need to hand weed, just as you would in any perennial garden. Your plants will want to migrate around, as will weeds, and invading trees and shrubs. Hand weeding will be necessary to maintain the integrity of the design. Herbicides must be used with extreme care or eliminated altogether; however the use of a controlled burn is always a possibility.

For larger plantings where native plants go beyond design function and become a part of the total dynamic landscape, management is usually focused on two activities:

  • Exotic species control on a regular basis each growing season which requires an understanding and recognition of what the exotics are and a strategy to control them if they appear. Spraying and cutting are the most standard techniques.
  • You will also need to focus on implementing management practices that will strengthen your native plants. Timed cutting, flooding or drawing down water levels in wetland plantings, carefully controlled grazing (on large parcels) and burning are some of the techniques to consider.

For sites larger than 2-3 acres it is generally recommended that a simple management schedule be developed to define suggested procedures and the timing for each. Overall, it is essential that landowners check their sites several times a year, develop management strategies based on existing conditions and take the necessary action to get the best results possible.

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Prairie Restorations Inc.
Princeton Headquarters
31646 128th Street,
Princeton, MN 55371

Ph: 763-389-4342