Planting the Prairie

My last post was about the site prep for our prairie we are developing.  What I left out of that post was with what we are going to plant the prairie.  I did mention that we have several pounds of prairie grass seed, including Indian Grass, Little Bluestem, Purpletop, Side-oats Grama, etc.  Most of this was purchased from Roundstone Seed in Kentucky while some of it was collected.

We are going to also plant the prairie with various biennial and perennial wildflowers.  The featured wildflower for the prairie will be Butterfly Weed (Asclepias tuberosa).  It does well on our property and is an amazing nectar source for butterflies in general.  Mixed with this orange-flowered milkweed we will add thistle, bergamot, colic root, bushclover, rattlesnake master and others.

Here at Butterfly Ridge we grow ALL of our plants from seed.  Most of that seed has been field collected by myself or donated by friends.  This way we can save huge amounts of money on the Butterfly Ridge project.  

Butterfly Weed babies!

Butterfly Weed babies!

As example, currently in the greenhouse we have roughly 100 Butterfly Weeds growing (along with several hundred other plants).  To purchase those 100 plants at a garden center would cost nearly $1000.  Butterfly Ridge has invested a whopping $8.00 for those same 100 plants in the form of soil and tags.  All pots have been scrounged over the years and seed was hand  collected from various sites last autumn.

At Butterfly Ridge we are trying to be good stewards, keeping costs low, using native plant species from seed collected locally.  As a part of that stewardship we will also be seeking the help of supportive volunteers when these beauties are ready for planting.  Stay tuned to the Butterfly Ridge website (also on the facebook page) for planting dates (probably late May or early June).  

What do you think about our plans?  Comment or if you'd like a personalized heads-up on planting dates!

Bushclover babies!

Bushclover babies!

Spicebush babies!

Spicebush babies!