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10 Tips on Meadows and Prairies in The Garden

Friday, February 17, 2017 @ 03:02 PM

It’s that time of year when we think about summer flowers so we talked about meadow and prairie style planting during last night’s #WoolliesAskAlison. Here’s the round up:

  • Meadows often combine wildflowers and native grasses sown as mixed seed to give a ‘scatter’ effect


  • Flowers in meadow may be annual or perennial, mostly hardy but can scatter HHA (half hardy annual) seeds each spring


  • Meadows usually cut after seeds have fallen and tops removed to reduce soil fertility and avoid grass dominating
  • Attracting insects and birds are key aspect of meadow creation especially using native species for caterpillars
  • Prairie usually perennials and ornamental grasses planted in drifts in good soil for strong growth


  • Reaches peak mid-late summer for flowers and then grasses flower into autumn for extra interest


  • Prairie allowed to stand uncut through winter for wildlife and structure and cut off in February before new shoots emerge
  • Annual meadows will shed seed but often need some reseeding each year to keep balance of flowers to grass
  • Perennials in prairie spread over few years to fill gaps and suppress weeds, can add tall spring bulbs too
  • Don’t need huge area to combine perennials and grasses to good effect; mini prairie just 9mx60cm

Mini Prairie

Whether you choose meadow or prairie style planting, try something new in your herbaceous borders this summer

What perennials do you grow for late summer?

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