Soil Test (#73B34L)
I am just learning about land management and was wondering if I could get some advise from an expert. I have attached a few pictures of the area (the hill side) which is approximately 200' by 60' on the other side of the stream I would like to plant in the spring. My goal is to plant plants that are low maintenance, will provide color throughout the year while controlling erosion. This area is a focal point from our family room and deck. Currently, the land has a low growing green plant of sorts that I was going to kill-off, add the recommended fertilizer to the area, and then replace with something below or what you may recommend. What I determined so far (and please correct me if I am wrong) that this piece of land is a "Non-tidal Wetland Hydroperid" and I was thinking that the below plant might do well is this environment: By the creek bank - Carcxbromides - bromelike sedge Top of the hill - Lilium Michiganese - MI Lily (Tree Lily), Symphotrichum Novae Anglia - New Englandaster, Symphyotrichum praeatrum - Willowaster, Symphyotrichum puniceum - purple stemmed, Sysphyotrichum Swamp Lester Middle of the hill - Triadenum Vigniem - Virginia March St John Wart, Vernomia Missurica - Viola cucellata, Abies Balsoea - Balsam Fir And mix between each level maybe some type of Fern, wild flowers, Lilie bulbs, or tulips Thank you in advance for any direction you may provide me. Mary Surko 586.574.1266
Barry County Michigan
A "Non-tidal Wetland" is a term applied to most wetlands not in a tidal zone. Most of the wetlands in the U.S fit that category. A wetland located adjacent to a river or stream is referred to as a Riparian Wetland. That appears to be the type of wetland you are dealing with. Hydroperiod refers to the fluctuation and duration of water in the soil, or how long the soil is saturated (waterlogged).
The plants you named should be suitable for the moisture in the soil, but be aware that the mature height of some of these plants is in the 5-6 foot range. Also, we are at the southern fringe of the Balsam Fir's range and may be too warm for them to do well.
I'm not sure how you plan to kill off the growth that is already there, but if you are planning to use an herbicide, absolutely read the label to be sure it can be used in the vicinity of open water and if there is a potential to damage any trees or plants you may wish to keep. Always follow the label instructions.
It would help if you make a table of the plants you intend to use and indicate for each: the time of bloom, the mature height of the plant, if it's suited to sun or shade, and the soil moisture it requires. This will help you determine if you will have color throughout the season, if the plants will stay a suitable size for both the area and neighboring plants (some may shade out others as they grow), and where to place the plants in relation to the soil moisture as you move away or uphill from the stream. It also will provide a record of what you planted for future reference if you need to replace or move the plant to a better location.
Remember there is no such thing as a maintenance free garden, and you may need to do some dead-heading to prevent the spread of some of these plants to other areas.