I proposed the landscaping blueprints, crudely executed as they were, to my parents this evening, and both are on board with the idea of expanding the project into the actual lawn, instead of just converting the flower bed. Since this is their property, and they’ll be the ones tasked with maintaining the meadow once it’s complete, I needed their support. And they said yes! After hearing this, my Climate Offensive colleague said to me, “All the most epic adventures begin with ‘Well, my mom said yes!'” They do indeed.
I recently discovered American Meadows, a seed supplier and website brimming with knowledge. If you plan to attempt a rewilding effort of your own, you can always find a link to their website on this blog.
I’ve learned there are a few things to consider before planting. First, I would encourage you to exercise caution regarding the last frost date for your area. Or, conversely, if your backyard regularly falls victim to a heatwave in the summer, make sure to plant early in the spring. Chicago, which is the closest city they provided, is in the clear from frost after April 12th.
So what’s the next step? Well first, I have to wait for this snow to melt (though that should be any day now). Then, I have been encouraged to wait until the soil has a temperature of 55 degrees or higher, which is typically past the last frost date. In the mean time, I’ll tear up the sod, work the soil, and move in some rocks that will be used as a border. Closer to planting day, I’ll be transplanting the residing hosta plants and day lilies to some of my parents’ other properties. I’ll document these steps as they happen, but it’s nice to have a game plan. With your own project, your dates may vary, especially depending on your region, the weather, and of course the way that the climate change is affecting our seasons.
Of course, I’m going to attempt to get some milkweed. Additionally, I have my eye on a pollinator mix specifically designed for the Midwest. It’s got a variety of perennials and annuals, and is supposed to attract hummingbirds and butterflies. The packet includes twenty different species and approximately a quarter of a million seeds per pound. The website says it is “extremely easy to grow for the novice or expert gardener, offering up near effortless color year after year.” Take a look below!
I don’t know how this winter has been for you, but I’m ready to see some color when I look out the window. So, now we’ve got our game plan, but there’s still a few more details to iron out. In the coming weeks, we’ll talk soil, seeds, weeds, pollinators, neighbors, and all things meadows. By the time we’re done, maybe it’ll be warm enough to step outside and get to work!
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