|THE QUARTER ACRE TO BE SEEDED WAS CLEARED, LEVELED, TOP DRESSED, RAKED AND ROLLED...|
|SEEDED AND COVERED WITH STRAW|
|A WALKWAY LEADING FORM HOUSE TO LAKE WAS INSTALLED ...|
|...THE COERED SEED WILL BE NATURALLY COLD STRATIFIED OVER WINTER AND GERMINATE IN LATE SPRING|
Sunday, 8:40 AM, 46 degrees F at the ferry dock, 43 on the back porch. Wind SSW, light with occasional stronger gusts. The sky is clear, the humidity 73%. The barometer has begun to fall, now at 29.79", presaging a chance of rain on Tuesday and again on Thursday, turning to snow on Friday as our fall weather inevitably cools off to early winter.
We have just completed another, major section of a landscape project on the lake front that we have been working on for over a year. The large home is on Cheqauamegon Road, just south of the city of Bayfield.
The owners desired a landscape that was native and relatively low maintenance, so the landscaping to this point has been all native trees and shrubs. They also desired a brick walkway from the home to the steep steps that lead down the bluff to the lake, and a meadow of wildflowers and native grasses in a large area on either side of the walk. We opted to install the walkway this fall, and at least the north half of the meadow area. The fall weather being unusually favorable, we have been able to complete this portion of the plan. Bayfield mason Kenneth Hunt was chosen to lay the walkway of concrete pavers.
The area to be seeded was cleaned up, graded and top dressed with good screened top soil and a mix of wild flowers and grasses native to northern Wisconsin was sown by hand. The mix included sideoats grama, prairie brome, fox sedge and little bluestem grasses, and seventeen wildflower species, including wild onion, smooth aster, lanceleaf coreopsis and purple coneflower.
Three pounds of seed was used (a goodly amount), which was sown and cross sown, raked in by hand and rolled and mulched with straw The freezing and thawing action over the winter will work the seed well into the soil, and it will be naturally cold stratified over the winter. Fall is a good time to seed native grasses and wild flowers.
Fertilizer was not and will not be used. The area will need to be mowed several times next year to control weeds as the natives become established, and eventually will only be mowed once a year. It will take several growing seasons to really see the native plants. Patience is a virtue when landscaping with native species seed, as the plants spend the first few seasons growing more roots than leaves and flowers.