A Prairie for Us

Piedmont prairie at HNIWe’re planting our own Piedmont prairie! This summer, we posted about Sarah P. Duke Gardens planting a Piedmont Prairie. Staff from the gardens collected seed from local sites, and our nursery grew out the grasses for them. Fortunately, there were more than enough plants for their project, so they graciously shared the extras with us.

We planted a number of Andropogon species, along with Panicum anceps, Eragrostis spectabilis, Tridens flavus, Erianthus giganteus, Sorghastrum nutans, and Schizachyrium scoparium. The forbs included species of Eupatorium, Helianthus, Symphiotrichum, Solidago, and Liatris, along with Coreoposis major, Parthenium integrifolium, Vernonia novaboracensis, and Rudbeckia fulgida v. fulgida.

Our site is in full sun and has slight changes in topography, which creates wet and dry areas. We’ll keep an eye on changes over time and look forward to seeing the pollinators and wildlife the prairie supports.

In the meantime, we share a few images of the site as our crew began the prairie.

Preparing and planting liners
We prepared the liners and placed them in holes dug with an auger. The plant mix was approximately one-third forbs to two-thirds grasses.
using an auger for the planting holes
Kurtis braved the noise and vibration of the auger to make short work of the planting holes.
Jessi planting
Part of the crew placed the liners, while others planted.
Duke gardens plant
The perennials from Duke Gardens included a number of species in the Asteraceae family, which tend to dominate the forb mix in Piedmont prairies.
wide view of prairie
The prairie site includes both wet and very dry areas, so those sections were planted separately.
Depositing mulch for spreading
Once the liners were planted, we spread mulch around the plantings.

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