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13Stabilize erodible areas
Many native plant installations are located along streambanks,
shorelines, and other sloped areas that have a tendency to erode.
Before planting occurs on these sites, the surrounding soils need to
be stabilized. Structures such as silt fences, erosion control blankets,
straw mulch, and straw bale dams can be installed to control erosion
and siltation. As a site becomes stable, seeding with permanent native
species helps with optimal long-term erosion control. Cardno provides
for erosion control.
Prepare planting and seedbeds
To prepare the soil and create optimal plant conditions before
disturbing any ground:
Call 811 before you dig
Clear area of debris that would interfere with planting
Mow any excess existing vegetation growth
Apply broad-spectrum or targeted herbicide, depending on
De-compact any areas of special concern
Lightly de-compact tilled or loose soil with a roller, cultipacker, or
similar equipment. If using a no-till seed drill, tilling can be omitted.
If ground is wet, tilling should not occur until the soil dries enough
to break apart when tilled.
For stormwater applications like rain gardens and bioswales, soil can be
amended to create appropriate growing conditions for wetland plants
and for drainage required to allow these features to function properly.
These areas often have the native soil removed and have a combination
of compost and sand applied to achieve this objective.
Follow appropriate timing
The optimal time to install seed is from the fall (September 1)
to late spring (June 15). Avoid mid-to-late summer seeding, because
of limited soil moisture and rainfall. Native seed mixes can be
installed in the fall when temperatures are cooler and rains are more
frequent. Many native species require the cold stratification of winter
in order to break dormancy. When conditions are right in the spring,
the seed will be in place to germinate.
Seeding a wetland in the winter is often easier, because the site
is frozen and equipment can more easily access the site. Broadcast
the seed when the evening temperatures drop below freezing. Use
appropriate erosion control measures, because the seed is not
likely to germinate and provide stabilization until the following
Creating a Native Landscape
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