Living Landscapes in South Dakota:       A GUIDE TO NATI V E PL A NTSC A PING“Helping Peopl e Help the Land”         Peopl...
Why is Native                                                                                                             ...
Photo courtesy of SDSU Cooperative Extension ServiceNarrow grass strips (left) can result in poor water management. A wate...
P L ANNING                                                                                                 S teps to Plann...
Topsoil. The growth rate and health of                     Organic Soil Amendments. All soil textures may not be ideal for...
D ESIGN                      Incorporate wildflower and native grass planting for                       interest and to re...
Rules of Thumb                                                         USDA Plant Hardiness ZonesTo the casual observer, t...
S ITE P R EPAR ATIONS       ite preparation methods, sequence, and timing are important considerations to achieving landsc...
2             Maintaining or Improving Soil Quality                                               3                 Removi...
C HOOSING THE R IGHT G R ASSES AND W ILDFLOWERS                                                                         s:...
Plant Types                                                                                     Wildflowers                ...
GR ASSES                                               Buffalograss and Blue grama                                        ...
Grasses for Ground Cover and Lawns                                                                                        ...
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping
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SD: Living Landscapes - A Guide to Native PlantScaping

  1. 1. Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATI V E PL A NTSC A PING“Helping Peopl e Help the Land” Peopl L a nd ” October 20 07 20
  2. 2. Why is Native Landscaping Important? TABLE OF CONTENTS Native landscaping provides an attractive,Why is Native Landscaping Important? ................................................................ 1 environmentally friendly landscape while reducingPlanning ................................................................................................................ 3 water and maintenance requirements. Do you want aDesign ................................................................................................................... 5 beautiful yard, garden, school, park, or parking area?Site Preparation .................................................................................................... 7 Try a Xeriscape™ with native plants!Choosing the Right Grasses and Wildflowers ...................................................... 9 T he information in this publication will help you select and grow native plants thatGrasses ............................................................................................................... 11 are naturally adapted and will thrive for years under the extreme environmental conditions of South Dakota. This booklet provides an overview of nativeWildflowers .......................................................................................................... 15 landscaping principles and practices. It integrates the principles of reduced water,Choosing the Right Trees and Shrubs ................................................................ 17 energy, and chemical usage; wildlife habitat enhancement; and invasive weed management. Native plant, in the context of this booklet, means native to South Dakota,Trees and Shrubs ................................................................................................ 19 with a few exceptions.Water Conservation ............................................................................................ 23Maintenance........................................................................................................ 25Plant Protection ................................................................................................... 27Planning and Planting for Wildlife ....................................................................... 29Rain Gardens ...................................................................................................... 31Energy Conservation .......................................................................................... 33Weeds and Invasive Plants................................................................................. 35Culturally Significant Native Plants......................................................................... 37Firewise Landscaping...............................................................................................39“To Do” List ......................................................................................................... 41About this Publication ........................................................................ Back Cover “Fargo Xeriscape Gardens” , one of five national Xeriscapes, is a popular urban demonstration of Xeriscape principles and landscapes incorporating native plants. Planting areas display “Moderate Water Use,” “Low Water Use,” and “Very Low Water Use” plants. Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 1
  3. 3. Photo courtesy of SDSU Cooperative Extension ServiceNarrow grass strips (left) can result in poor water management. A water-efficient, low maintenance alternative Blue Fescue and Little Bluestem used inlandscape features hardier plants in “low water use” landscape zones. an urban setting. Xeriscape and Native Plant Benefits Economic What is Xeriscape™? • Lower water and maintenance costs Native prairie grasses and wildflower s Xeriscape (pronounced zeer-i-scape) • Enhanced real estate values are excellent alternatives to traditional is derived from the Greek word, • Increased survival of plantings xeros, meaning “dry.” Denver Water • Edible and/or decorative products landscaping. They are less expensive to holds the trademark on the term. maintain than turf, require minimal rainfall, It is the wise use of water through water-efficient landscaping and the and are attractive all year long. Generally, Black chokeberry: berries used for making wine and jelly utilization of plants better adapted to only 50 percent of an existing lawn is local climatic and soil conditions. The Environmental word Xeriscape conjures up visions actively used. Turf is the highest water-user • Improved water and soil conservation of a dry, desert-like landscape when, • Reduced use of petroleum products and requires the most labor in a traditional in fact, its focus is how to landscape appropriately in areas with seasonal • Improved air quality/carbon sequestration landscape. Reducing the amount of turf will • Enhanced urban wildlife habitat water supply shortages. A Xeriscape • Reduced storm water runoff save time and money. Consider using a design uses less water to sustain plant life and provides year-round warm-season alternative turf grass, such as beauty. blue grama or buffalograss. These grasses Comparisons of traditional landscapes and Butterfl garden y are different from normal lawns. They are Xeriscapes have shown that up to 50 percent Quality of Life savings can be achieved in water usage slower to green in the spring, quicker to go alone. O ther study sites indicating potential • Attractive year-round landscape • Increased wildlife viewing dormant in the fall, and require less mowing. savings of nearly 30 percent in maintenance and labor, 61 percent in fertilizers, 44 percent • Connect with nature in fuel, and 22 percent in herbicides and • Decreased mowing pesticides. (At Home with Xerscape, Xeriscape Colorado, Inc.) Big bluestem: fall color Why is Native Landscaping Important? 2
  4. 4. P L ANNING S teps to Planning Before any digging, trenching, or post-driving, contact South Dakota One-Call. South Dakota Law Chapter 49-7A-5 requires anyone who CAUTION engages in any type of excavation, with certain exemptions, anywhere Consider family interests and needs 1 in South Dakota, to provide notice of at least 48 hours in advance List the outdoor activities and interests of family members, (excluding weekends and holidays) to South Dakota One-Call. This system including pets. is established to notify all South Dakota underground facility operators of 2 Analyze the site intended excavation. Contact South Dakota One-Call at 1-800-781-7474, Understand the resources: climate, soil characteristics (as determined by a or 811 for in-state calls, or visit www.sdonecall.com. soil test), slope and aspect, topsoil depth, and stability. Identify limitations such as potential flooding or inundation. Identify native plants/plant South Dakota One-Call 1-800-781-7474 or 811 (in-state) communities present on the site. 3 Develop and evaluate alternatives Visualize an initial landscape design that meets your objectives. Consider each of the following when formulating the conceptual plan: Site. Is it wetland, riparian, or upland? Can topsoil be salvaged? Should the site be left alone due to potential flooding, bank erosion, or mass soil movement? Plants. Are the plants adapted to the site? Consider managing to restore native plant vigor rather than removal and replanting. Identify desirable native plants and ensure they are not damaged during construction and site preparation. Evaluate how the landscape design, site preparation, and planting will affect future maintenance. Function. Do the plants meet your objectives for aesthetics, conserving energy, and reducing maintenance time and expense? 4 Establish budget and timetable Will all the landscaping be put in place at one time or will it progress in phases over several years? How much will be spent and when? 5 Save or remove existing landscaping All desirable vegetation should complement future plantings. All unwanted vegetation should be entirely removed, either mechanically or chemically. ne- 6 Solve problems identified in the site analysis DO S l Runoff from roof and driveway can be utilized in a rain garden. Are there • Cal existing rocks that could be used in the landscape design? Mulches can t conserve water and protect soil surfaces from erosion. Cos type? • l soi 7 Implement plan • Order seed, nursery stock, and materials in a timely manner. Plan construction activities to avoid soil compaction and harm to desired vegetation. Use mulch or other suitable measures to prevent erosion during construction and establishment period. For more information about soil types in Monitor and maintain landscape 8 your area, check out the Web Soil Survey at Check and protect plants from pest damage and weed competition. Ensure http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov adequate soil moisture.Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 3
  5. 5. Topsoil. The growth rate and health of Organic Soil Amendments. All soil textures may not be ideal for landscaping and Site Inventory and landscape plants are directly related to garden beds. Two alternatives are available. One, plant site adapted vegetation which Assessment soil quality. Salvage topsoil prior to any may limit species selection, or two, add organic soil amendments that will improve excavation to secure a desirable material water-holding capacity (sandy soils) or improve aeration and drainage (clayey soils). Planning and design begin with for plant growth. A minimum of 6 inches of Organic amendments include peat moss, compost, processed bark, and animal a thorough site inventory and good quality topsoil is recommended for manures. Spread this material evenly over the surface and incorporate to a depth of 2 assessment of the following factors: turf; 12 inches for trees. This encourages to 4 inches. The general rule is to incorporate no more than 3 cubic yards of organic deeper rooting and provides an organic material per 1,000 square feet per year. This equals about 1 to 2 inches of organic Current and Historic Land Use rich environment for plant growth. Ideal material.How has the property been used or soil textures are fine sandy loam, loam, oraltered in the past? Are there cultural silt loam.resources buried or on the surface that Clay feels sticky when wetshould be saved? What level of cleanupwill be necessary? These are importantconsiderations before entering the nextlandscape phase: design, site preparation,plant selection, and planting. CLAY Vegetative InventoryNative species thrive in harmony withtheir environment. These relationships Sand feels Silt feelsshould be recreated as closely as possible coarse and LOAM silky smooth gritty when wetfor successful native landscaping. Lookaround and see what plants exist on the Ripping the compaction layer improves root growth and water movement. SAND SILTsite or a similar site nearby. Do they growthere as part of a natural plant community Soil Tests. In landscape settings, soilor were they introduced? Identify the testing is valuable to establish a baseline Loam is a combination of all theseplants and determine if they are annual or on soil pH, salt levels, and the need forperennial. nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium fertilizer. The accuracy of a soil test is ClimateIdentify and control weeds prior toplanting activities. Chemical, biological, influenced by the laboratory analysis Climate of the Northern Great Plains is extremely variable and unpredictable. Native plant communitiesmechanical, or hand-weeding are all but may be influenced even more by the have adapted well to these extremes.viable options. quality of the sample. Refer to SDSU Extension Bulletin titled “Recommended • USDA Plant Hardiness Zones. The Plant Hardiness Zone map divides the United Soil Soil Sampling Methods for South Dakota”. States into zones based on average minimum temperature. It should be used to It can be obtained through your local determine plant species adaptation to cold. (See page 6.)Soil is the most important componentof landscaping. Many well-designed extension offices or at “http://agbiopubs. • Elevation/Topography/Aspect/Hydrologic Regime/Landform and Landscape sdstate.edu/articles/FS935.pdf”. landscapes have failed because of Position. These elements influence the length of the growing season, number ofinadequate soil preparation before frost-free days, wind, sunlight, snow cover, soil depth, and other factors. Landscapeplanting. position and microclimates around structures can modify growing conditions.Compaction is a significant problem in Riparian areas, wetlands, and subirrigated sites offer unique opportunities for plantnew developments due to the activity of diversity.heavy equipment during construction. • Precipitation. Timing of seasonal precipitation dictates water availability which is an Compacted layers severely limit root important element when establishing and maintaining plants on a site.growth and water movement. Thisproblem should be corrected by ripping or • Wind. High wind speed exposes plants to moisture desiccation. Warm chinook winds deep tillage before the addition of topsoil can falsely lure trees and shrubs into breaking bud, making them vulnerable to winter Quality topsoil is the basis for quality landscapes. kill. Winter-hardy plants must be selected to avoid damage.or planting. Planning 4
  6. 6. D ESIGN Incorporate wildflower and native grass planting for interest and to reduce the amount of lawn mowing. Locate vegetable gardens with sunlight, access, aesthetic views and moisture in mind. Locate utility buildings close to gardens and other areas needing equipment. Incorporate out-buildings by blending into the landscape. Place groupings of trees and shrubs together in naturalistic patterns for visual Maintain usable lawn areas convenient for use. screens and windbreaks. Reduce the amount of lawn to mow by sizing for the amount that will be used. Place tree and shrub groupings in commonmulch beds to reduce the amount of mowing. Screen objectionable views with carefully selected and placed trees and shrubs. Flower and foliage color can vary greatly depending on the selected plant species/varieties. The color Place utility obstructions out of lawn and into common mulch beds. chart can be used as a general guide Collect runoff from downspouts into rain gardens. Utilize Place plants in areas that would normally be plants that tolerate occasional standing water. Locate away when selecting plants with colors that unusable “dead space.” Select plants for from house so water cannot seep into basement. amount of sunlight and moisture. Place foundation plantings with mulch to help improve consistent contrast or complement. Designs moisture conditions surrounding the house foundation. are a personal preference by the Extend planting beds around air conditioners and other utilities to remove them from mowable areas. designing landscaper. Locate trees away from overhead power lines. Know the ultimate size of the tree. Extend planting bed edge around trees where possible so trees will have to compete less with lawn. Create pockets of interesting landscaping using plants with varying shades of seasonal color and contrast. 3 Preliminary Designs Plant material is assigned to a space by specific characteristics or function. Important and large-sized plants or PLAN VIEW groups of plants are located first. Trees, Considerations for a typical residential landscape plan mass plantings, and stand-alone gardens are examples. Actual dimensions ofInformation gathered in the site inventory is used to diagram existing conditions and identify functions of various patios, sidewalks and other hard surfacesspaces. To better visualize how things appear, drawings and/or design plans are developed to assure that each space may be represented.gets specific attention and to determine relationships between spaces. The number of steps, or preliminary drawings,necessary to complete a landscape design is dependent on the size and scale of the project and the amount of detail stay back from fenceincorporated at each stage of the process. 2 Concept Plan juneberry Landscape Design Sequence 3 to 6 ft y cherr Green Ash chokteo 6 ft 18to 35 ft Individual shapes begin to take on a parking greater level of detail, and relationships 3 1 Bubble Diagram area between spaces evolve. Large areas 4 such as prairies, parking lots, lawns, and Completed PlanIt is important to identify areas with water features should be considered The completed plan specifies the identity, residence scenicdifferent maintenance requirements. view first. Smaller areas and shapes, such location, and proper spacing of all plants.Use simple shapes to represent features as planting beds, decks, and walkways It contains all the information necessaryor conditions such as a dog kennel, RV should be integrated in and around the to implement and install the landscape.parking, turf area, garden, sun exposure, patio larger areas. The diagram at the top of this Construction drawings may be necessaryor views. page is an example of a concept plan. for building or installing other elements in the design.Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 5
  7. 7. Rules of Thumb USDA Plant Hardiness ZonesTo the casual observer, the prairie grass and wildflower landscape may be perceivedas an unkempt lawn. Steps can be taken to promote the introduction of a prairie Average Annual Minimum Temperaturelandscape into the traditional neighborhood.• Provide one or two strips of mowed lawn between the desired prairie landscape and sidewalks and your neighbor’s lawn. This will lessen the abruptness of the taller grasses that observers may not be accustomed to seeing. Corson Campbell McPherson Harding• Talk to your neighbors before installing the prairie landscape. Discuss the beauty, Perkins Brown Marshall uniqueness, reduced maintenance and water needs, and other benefits of the Walworth Edmunds Roberts Day prairie landscape. Dewey Grant• Provide naturalistic curves to the outside edge of the prairie landscape through the Butte Potter Faulk Spink Codington use of mowed strips or visible edging. Ziebach Clark Sully Deuel Hamlin• Keep the selection of grasses and wildflowers simple. A short-statured mix of Lawrence Meade Hyde Hand cool- and warm-season prairie grasses and a few selective species of wildflowers Haakon Stanley Hughes Beadle Kingsbury Brookings will keep the design simple and pleasing to the eye. Pennington Buffalo Jerauld• Control weeds. The residential prairie landscape is not maintenance-free, but Jones Lyman Sanborn Miner Lake Moody maintenance may be easier with fewer plant species. Custer Jackson Brule Aurora Hanson Davison Minnehaha• Consider other design elements such as a naturalistic stone outcropping, Shannon Mellette McCook ornamental woody plants, a dry creek bed, or sculptures. Fall River Bennett Tripp Douglas Hutchinson Turner Todd Gregory• Along borders, place short-statured plants in front and taller plants in the back. Charles Mix Bon Lincoln Homme Yankton Union• The width of a perennial border should be proportionally about one-third the height Clay of the background.• In island planting beds, place taller plants near the middle and decrease height toward the edge. The most pleasing effect is achieved if the bed is twice as wide Degrees Fahrenheit as the tallest plant. 3b -30 to -35 °F• Place plants according to their needs for sun, water, and soil condition.• Arrange plants so they are visible and colorful throughout the year. 4a -25 to -30 °F South Dakota Plant• Space plants based on mature size. 4b -20 to -25 °F Hardiness Zones range• Consider surroundings in design. Use plant screens or barriers as necessary for from 3b to 5a privacy. 5a -15 to -20 °F• Recognize maintenance issues.• Try different plant material as long as it is recommended for the site.• Don’t be afraid to experiment. Eye Grabbers The complete USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is numbered 1 through 11, with zones 2 through 10 subdivided into “a” and “b” regions. Each zone is 5 Do Don’t degrees warmer (or colder) in an average winter than the adjacent zone.Group 3, 5, or 7 plants together Scatter single plants here and there• unifying • spotty and confusing The map is based on average annual minimum temperatures recorded throughout North America. By using the map to find the zone in which youMatch plant size to available space Incorporate many big trees on a small lot live, it will enable you to determine what plants will “winter over” in a yard or• proper scale • overpowering garden because they can withstand these average minimum temperatures. Although these zones are useful as an indicator of a plant’s likelihood forAccent with fall color and leaf color Plant large plants too close to house survival in a given area, many factors, including soil type, soil moisture and• cheery • structural damage drainage, humidity, and exposure to sun and wind will determine a plant’s growth and success or failure in its environment.Vary size, spacing, and diversity Plant if unable to maintain• interesting • time-consuming Design 6
  8. 8. S ITE P R EPAR ATIONS ite preparation methods, sequence, and timing are important considerations to achieving landscaping goals. Site preparation includes (1) retaining desirable trees and vegetation, (2) maintaining or improving soil quality, (3) removing unwanted vegetation, (4) preparing seedbed, (5) transplanting, and (6) seeding grass and forbs. 1 Retaining Desirable Trees and Vegetation Careful planning can prevent inadvertent loss of desirable vegetation. Stockpiled soil can suffocate vegetation within a few days. Stockpiled building materials may trap solar heat and destroy vegetation in a few hours. Herbicide drift, leaching, or translocation in soil can destroy existing trees and vegetation. Residual herbicides in the soil could TIP: negatively impact, or kill trees and vegetation for days or years after application. root lengths Remember, ut Additional practices that are detrimental to tree health and development include: ots extend o vary. Tree ro • Trenching through tree roots e trunk for a from the tre ight • Removing soil from over the root system of the tree ual to the he distance eq o • Adding soil over the root system (As little as 1 inch of clay spread on top of the nd can be tw roots of a mature tree can cause it to decline.) of the tree, a ht ater the heig • Physical injury to tree trunks or limbs times or gre • Traffic on root systems causing compaction of the tree. • Tilling deeper than 1 to 2 inches over the root area Grasses and forbs can also be damaged through: • Disturbance of topsoil • Compaction Stockpiled soil or construction materials can kill sod – a very real loss if the sod grew native plants. Tree roots cut during excavation cause a tree to decline and die.Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 7
  9. 9. 2 Maintaining or Improving Soil Quality 3 Removing Unwanted VegetationMaintaining soil quality is important for sustaining healthy plants, reducing erosion, and Herbaceous vegetation can be effectively Spraying herbicideimproving nutrient and water use efficiencies. If topsoil is removed during construction, controlled with herbicides or repeatedit should not be mixed with subsoil, and should be carefully stockpiled for resurfacing tillage. Note that repeated tillage maylandscape planting areas. A minimum of 6 inches of topsoil is preferable for growing trigger water and wind erosion on manymost plants. There may be a need for additional organic matter for some soils. Utilize sites. Bare sites should be replanted orsoil sampling/soil test kits and the professional services of your local plant nursery, covered with mulch as soon as possiblegarden center, or SDSU Extension Service to assist with soil quality needs. to control erosion and reduce weed infestations. When using herbicide control,Construction and landscaping activity and other factors may result in soil compaction, select herbicides that:and therefore, inhibit root growth and water absorption. To test for soil compaction, dig • Are labeled for use in South Dakota.into the soil. A shovel should penetrate easily in undisturbed soil that has good structureand porosity. The soil should crumble and flake apart easily. Soil compaction may be • Effectively destroy the targetalleviated by: vegetation, including the tougher invasive plants• Incorporating organic matter into the top 6 inches of the soil (well-rotted manure, • Have no carryover soil residual activity straw, compost, grass clippings, leaves, peat moss, processed bark, etc.)• Reducing traffic impact on the soil by limiting the number of trips and using Consult the SDSU Extension Service lighter equipment for site-specific herbicide application information.• Waiting for wet soils to dry before tillage 5 Transplanting 4 Preparing Seedbed A wide variety of native shrubs, trees, and forbs are available through commercial sources. For a variety of reasons, avoid harvesting plant materials found in the “wild.”Before seeding disturbed sites, allow settling to occur. Watering may help settle the site,but too much or too fast will increase compaction or cause erosion. Transplanted roots should be kept moist at all times but not stored in water. The plantingGrass seeding requires a firm seedbed. Firming can be accomplished by an implement site should be moist but not wet. Place plants at the depth grown in the nursery. Finesuch as a harrow, roller-packer, ATV or vehicle tires, or foot traffic. When walking across lateral roots should be in the top 1 to 2 inches. Water as needed the first year to keepa firm seedbed, an adult footprint should not sink over ¼ to ³/8 inch. root zone moist to touch. 6 Seeding Grasses and Forbs Plant grass seed ¼ to ½ inch deep. Seeding can be accomplished by broadcasting or using a grass drill. Grass drills effectively control seeding depth and provide even seed distribution. However, they may leave visible drill rows. Broadcast seeding is an effective seeding method, and will not leave visible drill rows. When broadcasting seed, spread half of the seed in one direction and the rest in another, to avoid gaps. When seeding is completed, rake, drag, or harrow to cover the seed with soil. To promote even germination, cover the seeded site with sterile mulch (clean straw, mulch, grass clippings, etc.). The soil surface should be kept moist (not wet) until seeds germinate. Water as needed to keep root zone moist. A grass drill has depth bands to ensure thatRoller packing before seeding grass is a key to success. grass seed is placed at the correct depth. Site Preparation 8
  10. 10. C HOOSING THE R IGHT G R ASSES AND W ILDFLOWERS s: Tag Tip e Latin nam Scientific o words, tw of one or , Linum le for examp le wisii. mbers, “Zone” nu s better i.e., 3 mean r Purple n to colde adaptatio s than 4. conefl ower , re temperatu a native wildflower , l sun, or Sun, partia ou the is grown ll y shade te uirements and sold q sunlight re at many Mature ct and corre nurseries. purple conefl purple coneflower ower t in the placemen landsca pe. uirements Plant Attributes and Features Water req r year pe in inches tural, na When selecting plant species, consider contrast, harmony, and should fit itation al precip boldness to provide variety throughout the year. Allow ample room for loc . amounts growth as the plant matures. Know the life-span of your plants. Perennial - lives three or more years, resuming growth each growing season from overwintering buds above or below ground. Pla nt AdaptationPlants naturally adapted to survive in local environmental conditions should be selected. Biennial - requires two growing seasons to complete their life cycles; germinating and remaining vegetative the first year, then flower ing,• Choose reputable nurseries and garden centers. Many choose and grow native and fruiting, and dying in the second year. introduced plant material that is adapted to the area. Consider their replacement policy. Guarantees usually vary from 6 months to 1 year from purchase. Annual - completes its life cycle within one growing season and• Select plants adapted to the correct USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. The “zone” will must reproduce from seed each year. be listed on the tag or label. The lower the number, the more adapted it is to colder temperatures. In South Dakota, depending on your location, the zones range from 3b Nature’s Defenses to 5a. Species, as well as varieties within the species, need to be adapted. Varieties In nature’s low-water environments, look for attributes considered or cultivars originating from milder southern climates often have different day length natural defense mechanisms for conserving water. and length of growing season requirements, and lack of winter hardiness. • Hairy, sticky, or wavy leaf surfaces deflect wind and channel water• Research a plant’s adaptation using the two-word scientific Latin name for the droplets. species. It is more universal than a common name. Common names vary in time, • Short, narrow, incised leaves have smaller surface area and lose place, and culture. less water to evaporation.• Though plants from the wild are adapted, digging for home landscaping use is • White or silvery-colored leaves reflect the sun’s rays and modify leaf not recommended. Extensive root systems often make digging and transplanting temperatures. unsuccessful. It is also illegal in many areas. When gathering seed, consider viability • Spines, prickles, and aromatic foliage defend against loss of stem and propagation requirements. Seed quality is often poor in the wild. Many species tissue and moisture from hungry, thirsty predators. require special conditions and treatments for germination. Knowing these needs is • Small, less showy flowers with little or no fragrance attract less essential for successful establishment from seed. attention from predaceous insects and grazing animals.Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 9
  11. 11. Plant Types Wildflowers Wildflowers vary greatly in size, shape, color, bloom season, and duration of bloom. Grasses Knowledge of these characteristics will help to choose and coordinate plantings that provide interesting color throughout the entire growing season. Some wildflowers require direct sunlight for 6 to 8 hours per day. As sunlight decreases, plant height and bloom size decrease.Prairie dropseed is a bunchgrassBuffalograss spreads by stolons Little bluestem used as an accent plantGrasses can be used in a landscape as an accent plant or a ground cover. Grassescan be compact and tufted, erect in bunches, creeping on the ground’s surface, or Black-eyed susan Purple coneflowerspreading as sod. Height varies from ground-hugging to several feet tall. Depending ontheir time of growth, they are considered either warm- or cool-season species.• Cool-season species green up early and actively grow during the cool, moist periods of the year such as from spring until mid-summer.• Warm-season species begin growth in early summer and remain active until mid- autumn. In the fall, they often have attractive, colorful foliage. Native Plant Attractions • Fragrance Blue flax Blanketflower • Herbal and medicinal qualities • Color schemesSweetgrass for cultural gardening • Bloom schedule • Shape and texture • Natural habitats recreated • Winter landscape appealMonarch on blazing star bloom Yarrow Shell-leaf penstemon Purple prairieclover Choosing the Right Grasses and Wildflowers 10
  12. 12. GR ASSES Buffalograss and Blue grama Establishment Prior to warm season grass establishment Lawns a weed free seedbed should be prepared.G rasses can bring texture and softness into a landscape design. A wide The use of native grasses for a manicured Multiple applications of a non-selective diversity of native grasses provides endless opportunities for adding lawn involves the same site preparation herbicide such as glyphosate should color, an assortment of sizes and shapes, and offers relatively low and establishment techniques as with a be considered to remove cool seasonmaintenance. Favorable characteristics of most native grasses include low water Kentucky bluegrass lawn. The seeding perennials such as quackgrass, smoothand fertility requirements. They reach their ultimate size quickly, have a high rates are increased [500 Pure Live brome and Kentucky bluegrass beforeresistance to insects and diseases, and generally can fend for themselves. Seeds (PLS) per square foot] to ensure seedbed preparation begins. BuffalograssNative grasses in landscaping can include a broad range of uses, i.e., ground a dense, solid stand. Depending on the and blue grama should be planted to acover, monoculture manicured lawns, individual accent or specimen plants, and amount of water applied to a site (natural depth not exceeding ½ inch in mid-Mayprairie or meadow restoration. or supplemental), the plant density through mid-June. Use only improved will eventually adjust to that which the cultivars for South Dakota such as: site can maintain. Mulching and early Bad River or Willis blue grama and supplemental water will help ensure a Bowie, Cody, Sharpshooter, or Legacy good initial stand. Rhizomatous species buffalograss. A mixture such as Bad River will continue to fill in the open spaces, blue grama and Bowie buffalograss is but bunchgrass stands may develop a combination that will provide for color gaps if the initial establishment is sparse. uniformity. If seeded in combination, the Although the emphasis of this publication seeding mix of 80% blue grama and 20% is on native species, there are some buffalograss is recommended. introduced grasses that, because of their drought tolerance and low maintenance, Once fully established, buffalograss is can be used for manicured lawns. highly competitive with weeds. However, during the first few years of establishment, Photo: Colette Kessler Prairie/Meadow use proper mowing in combination with fall glyphosate treatments when theSheep fescue is a long-lived Blue grama has “eyebrow” seed In some suburban areas and particularlybunchgrass. heads. grass is fully dormant for the control in rural settings, a person may want to of cool season species. The control of restore large areas to native prairie or Ground Cover summer annual weed competition can meadows, blending a residence into be accomplished through the use of Grasses that spread by rhizomes, a natural setting. To restore a natural pre-emergence herbicide treatments stolons (above-ground runners), plant community, there are several such as pendimethalin (Journey, or tillers are prime candidates for establishment options: 1) seed general Pendulum) or dithiopyr (Dimension), and ground cover and site stabilization. mixtures of grasses and wildfl ower s, post-emergence treatments such as Steep slope stabilization, however, using most of the species you want in imazapic (Plateau), quinclorac (Drive), may require structural stabilization your end product; 2) seed simple mixtures or metsulfuron (Metgard, Riverdale prior to plant establishment. Initial and interplant to increase diversity; or Patriot, Escort). If fertilizer is applied to an weed control is critical until the cover 3) transplant all plants to spacing and established buffalograss lawn, annually plants are established well enough to composition desired. Once established, apply 1 lb. actual nitrogen in mid-June shade out or crowd out any unwanted native prairies or meadows requireWinter color of Buffalograss and again in mid-July. plants. minimal maintenance, spot weed control,little bluestem in stolons cascadenew snow. down a rock face. and early spring residue management.Living Landscapes in South Dakota: A GUIDE TO NATIVE PLANTSCAPING 11
  13. 13. Grasses for Ground Cover and Lawns Lawns1 Prairie Planting2 Life Soil Preference lbs. PLS lbs. PLS Drought3 Trampling3 Mowing3Species Varieties Form Sandy Loamy Clayey per 1000 sq ft per acre Tolerance Resistance Tolerance RemarksCOOL- SEASON (Native)western wheatgrass Rodan rhizomatous 4 10 Moderate Good Good forms open sod, bluish(Pascopyrum smithii) Rosana X X in colorthickspike wheatgrass Critana rhizomatous X 3.5 8.5 Good Fair Fair finer leaved than western(Elymus lanceolatus) Bannock X wheatgrass, good seedling X Schwendimar vigor, western half SD onlystreambank wheatgrass Sodar rhizomatous X X 3.5 8.5 Good Fair Fair similar to thickspike, good(Elymus lanceolatus) X seedling vigor, western half SD onlygreen needlegrass Lodorm bunchgrass X 3 7.5 Moderate Fair Fair best in a mix with other(Nassella viridula) AC Mallard X cool-season grassesCOOL- SEASON (Introduced)crested wheatgrass Hycrest bunchgrass X X 3 7 Excellent Good Good good drought resistance(Agropyron cristatum) Xsheep fescue Covar bunchgrass X X 1 Good Fair Good fine-leaved, competitive(Festuca ovina) Bighorn ith other plants and weedshard fescue Durar bunchgrass X X 1 Good Fair Good fine-leaved, short stature,(Festuca trachyphylla) 2 difficult to mowperennial ryegrass Adapted bunchgrass X 3 Moderate Good Good better soils, mdium longevity(Lolium perenne) varieties X 2 poor low temperature tolerance wCanada bluegrass Reubens rhizomatous X X Moderate Good Good will form sod, but not as(Poa compressa) Talon X 7 dense as Kentucky bluegrass Foothills 1Russian wildrye Mankota bunchgrass X X 1 7.5 Excellent Good Fair excellent drought resistance(Psathyrostachys juncea) Bozoisky-Select X 3WARM- SEASON (Native)blue grama Bad River bunchgrass X X 2.5 Excellent Excellent Good short stature, infrequent mowing,(Bouteloua gracilis) X late green-up, easy to establish 2buffalograss Bowie stoloniferous X 26 Good Excellent Good short stature, infrequent mowing,(Buchloe dactyloides) Cody X late green-up, slow to germinate 3sideoats grama Pierre bunchgrass X X 7.5 Moderate Fair Poor tallest of grama grasses,(Bouteloua curtipendula) Killdeer X good seedling vigor1 3 Seeding rates for lawn are figured at approximately 500 PLS per square foot; 2 Seeding rates for a prairie grass stand are figured at approximately 40 PLS per square foot;3 Rating scale: Excellent - Good - Moderate - Fair - Poor Grasses 12
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