Wild Ones Archive 2002, Aug 09: |
Ques #5: Mound Systems
ADDITIONAL RESPONSES QUESTION #5: Use of Native Plants over Mound Systems
I have a prairie on my mound system. It was recommended to me by the County Zoning office where I was presented with a booklet from the Wisc DNR. They strongly recommended it, with no exclusions for tap-rooted species. I had some problems to start with because I didn't wait until after a spring sprouting season to kill the weeds before starting. It is now in its fourth summer and doing very well.
Here is what I recommend:
Don't disturb the soil. Mow the weeds and treat the stubble with Roundup. When it has done it's job, seed in you natives. The remaining stubble and thatch will act as a mulch and prevent erosion. I suggest that you use black-eyed Susans as a cover crop. You can add Canada rye, but I have not found it to be an adequate cover crop to keep the cool season grasses at bay. Evening primrose and blue vervain can also be added for looks, but all these are pioneers that will disappear after a few years, Because the mound is made from recently disturbed soil, there will be a tremendous bank of weed seeds near the surface and ready to germinate next growing season. You may need to use a weed whip for a year or two to keep the thistles and cool season grasses under control. Other than a spring burn, I have not been in my mound prairie to take care of weeds this year. My neighbors have stopped scoffing and started complimenting.
-- Bill of Oshkosh, WI
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