Permaculture ground cover centex
I am committed to establishing a food forrest eco system in my yard. I already have a lot of trees in, with quite a few nitro fixers like black locust, mesquite, palo verde, catspaw, goldenball lead tree, desert willow, and kidney wood; however, I neglected to establish a ground cover. I have a bunch of cardboard for sheet mulch, and I plan on getting a huge load of compost or soil mix to be a bed for the cover crop seeds that I plan on choosing for ground cover. I want to know some good varieties of perennial cover crop mix that are drought resistant, fast growing, and will survive in clay soil. Though I have not had a soil test, the soil in pretty black (its clay though) and drains well enough for my trees to be doing quite well. Also, I am trying to do a sort of meadow look in the front yard and I was wondering about a good variety of low growing clover and grass mix that I can grow from seed. I am a licensed irrigator and I have all the components for a drip irrigation system that I am adding to the back. I should have started off with designing and digging earth works like swales to assist with irrigation and erosion prevention, but I didn't. In the pictures the cardboard is kind of all over the place, I plan on getting it nicely situated and covered with organic matter and drip irrigation.
What a great project.
Good sources for wildflower and prairie plant seeds locally are garden center and Feed and Seed stores. Call around. Good web sources are: Wildflower Seed Farms in Fredericksburg http://www.wildseedfarms.com/ 800-848-0078 and Native American Seeds in Junction http://www.seedsource.com/ 800-728-4043 Both these companies have great seed mixes or you can purchase individual packets. The companies supply great instructions. Plant a mixture of native grasses and wildflowers. I will tell you that it will take at least 3 years for the prairie to look real good. So be patience. Remove all weeds like Bermuda grass, Johnson grass, thistles, sow thistles, henbit and dandelions. Late March/early April is the best time to visit the wildflower seed farms because so many wildflowers are blooming. Aggie Horticulture has started a new sustainable landscape program called Earth-Kind. The Earth-Kind site has information about landscape design and plant select and maintenance for water conserving landscapes. To find a list and pictures of groundcover to to Earth-Kind plant selector http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/earthkind/plant-selector/