Uplands, Meadows & Pollinator Planting Guide

Uplands, meadows & pollinator projects are great for a variety of site types. Upland sites are characterized as being dry most of the year. Soils at these sites are well drained and may consist of sandy clay, sandy loam, loam or shale. The topsoil layer may be thin and subject to drought. If yours is a sandy site, refer to the Southeastern U.S. Sites Planting Guide. Upland examples include naturally rocky soil that has been subject to erosion or steep road cuts. Meadow examples include abandoned farm fields, previous lawns, vacant land or roadsides.

HABITAT

Typically in full sun for at least half the day with good air circulation; generally occupied with UPL, FACU and FAC species.

FERTILITY

Natural fertility is usually adequate; fertilizer and lime are not needed (fertilizer often helps weeds and invasives). Check your soil pH and select species adapted to that pH.

SEEDING METHOD

Hand seed, broadcast seed, hydroseed or drill seed.

SITE PREPARATION

If your site was previously a lawn or crop field to which herbicides were applied, it is important that you allow the appropriate interval for the residues of those herbicides to break down prior to planting your meadow. Some herbicide residues can prevent seedling germination.

Competition from invasive or undesirable vegetation is the most limiting factor in upland meadow preparation. Prior to planting, all such vegetation must be fully controlled. Typical control strategies include repeated tilling, smothering with black plastic or herbicides.

When using the tillage strategy, a site is disc harrowed every two to four weeks for a one to two month period. The underlying premise of this process is that the root system of perennial species will be worn out to the point of killing the species. In addition, tillage will stimulate germination of dormant weed seed Which will be killed by subsequent tillage. Planting should not occur until perennial species are completely killed.

Black plastic may also be used to kill weeds. It may be laid across tilled or untilled soil and anchored down by burying the edges in soil or laying boards or bricks across the surface. This protocol should be utilized during a growing season where the intent is to fall plant in the same year or spring plant the following year.

The application of an approved herbicide, such as glyphosate (Roundup® or Rodeo®), is the most common and least time-intensive protocol for controlling existing vegetation. Herbicides are most effective on actively rowing plant tissues; therefore, they are very effective on new growth in the spring. Spraying should begin when growth is approximately 6” high. One to two weeks later, a follow-up application of spray may be made To address skips or persistent species. If substantial plant tissues remain on the surface following a full kill by herbicides, a close mowing, tillage or burning may be necessary to achieve good seed-to-soil contact.

GROWING SEASON MAINTENANCE

First Growing Season

  • Whenever canopy (overall vegetation) reaches a height of 18”- trim the meadow to a height of 8” (Note: A lawn mower is not recommended as the mower height will be too low and native seedlings will be killed). This will reduce competition by fast-growing weeds for sunlight, water and nutrients needed by slow-growing perennial natives. Mowing should cease by mid-September.
  • For seedings of annual wildflower mixes or annual & perennial wildflower mixes, problem weeds should be hand pulled.
  • Problem weeds should be hand pulled or spot sprayed with approved herbicides (such as Roundup® or Rodeo®).

Second Growing Season

  • Prior to new spring growth reaching a height of 2” (e.g., shortly after forsythia or redbud blooms), trim any material standing from the previous year close to the ground (approximately 2”). This will allow the soil to warm more quickly, which will stimulate the emergence and growth of native seedlings and reduce the likelihood of the meadow being invaded by shrubs.
  • Problem weeds should be hand pulled or spot sprayed with an approved herbicide.

Special Circumstances

If you notice a heavy infestation of ragweed or foxtail in the second growing season, trim the meadow to a height of 8”. Trimming should cease by mid-September.

For additional helpful information, please reference our Guide to the Life Cycle of a Meadow.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this review of practices is the result of more than 50 years of experience in seed production. Ernst Conservation Seeds has been supplying seeds and consulting in the reseeding of tens of thousands of acres of roadsides, surfacemined lands, conservation and restoration sites in eastern North America, as well as growing and supplying seed and consulting in the planting of hundreds of thousands of acres of CRP/CREP-related areas for erosion control and wildlife habitat. All of these practices are opinion only and our best advice as a result of these experiences. These recommendations do not cover all of the conditions that will be encountered in the field. All of the information is for individual consideration. Ernst Conservation Seeds is not responsible for conditions that will be encountered in individual situations. The use of brand names does not represent our endorsement of a specific product; rather, it represents our experience only and has not necessarily been replicated in peer-reviewed research. The use of chemical pest control agents is subject to manufacturers’ instructions and labeling, as well as federal, state and local regulations.

Uplands, Meadows & Pollinator Seed Mixes

The following mixes are used in full sun with well-drained soils and provide food and/or cover for Wildlife. Meadow and wildflower mixes provide food for insects, including native pollinators.

PA Coastal Plain Province UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-270-1 Cost: $32.81/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

Eastern West Virginia Steep Slope Mix

Item #: ERNMX-280 Cost: $16.22/lb
Categories: ,
Description: A steep slope mix for eastern WV. This pollinator-friendly mix will stabilize slopes while providing food and cover for wildlife. Mix forumulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy ()

NC Coastal Plain UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-300 Cost: $26.82/lb
Categories:
Description: This mix of grasses and forbs offers season-long color for diverse pollinator habitat. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

NC Mountains UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-303 Cost: $37.23/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

NC Piedmont UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-306 Cost: $26.54/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

NC Steep Slope Mix

Item #: ERNMX-310 Cost: $17.92/lb
Categories: ,
Description: A steep slope mix for the Piedmont and Coastal Plain regions of NC. This pollinator-friendly mix provides food and cover for wildlife. Mix forumulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding ()

SC Coastal Plain UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-400 Cost: $33.86/lb
Categories:
Description: This mix of grasses and forbs provides food and cover for native game and pollinating species in the SC coastal area. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of ()

SC Mountains UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-403 Cost: $49.05/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

SC Piedmont UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-406 Cost: $30.70/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

GA Blue Ridge UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-500 Cost: $29.93/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

GA Coastal Plain UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-503 Cost: $28.44/lb
Categories:
Description: This mix of grasses and forbs offers season-long color for diverse quail, songbird and pollinator habitat. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix ()

GA Cumberland Plateau UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-506 Cost: $40.87/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

GA Piedmont UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-507 Cost: $35.94/lb
Categories:
Description: This mix of grasses and forbs offers season-long color for diverse quail, songbird and pollinator habitat. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix ()

GA Ridge & Valley UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-510 Cost: $54.21/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

FL UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-601 Cost: $28.72/lb
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Description: This upland flatwoods mix provides good food and cover for wildlife and pollinators. Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

MD Mountain UPL Grass Mix

Item #: ERNMX-700 Cost: $9.75/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

MD Mountain UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-701 Cost: $39.54/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

MD Upper Midland Grass Mix

Item #: ERNMX-710 Cost: $10.86/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

MD Upper Midland UPL Meadow Mix

Item #: ERNMX-711 Cost: $32.99/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

MD Lower Midland UPL Grass Mix

Item #: ERNMX-720 Cost: $10.33/lb
Categories:
Description: Mix formulations are subject to change without notice depending on the availability of existing and new products. While the formula may change, the guiding philosophy and function of the mix will not. ()

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