How to naturalize my yard

Asked January 3, 2019, 9:20 PM EST

I live in Adamstown md 21710. It is a predominantly agricultural area. I have about one acre back yard that is grass. I’d like to naturalize it for aesthetics, habitat and to stop mowing it. How to prep it? What and when to plant? Thanks.

Frederick County Maryland

1 Response

It sounds like maybe you are talking about a wildlife meadow, which depending on how it is managed could, through a process called succession, become a forest over time.
Take a look at this page and it's links about mowing cycles and meadows:
The idea is to clear the area, killing back existing plants, then installing or planting native flowers and warm season grasses, and possibly shrubs and trees.
If there is water on your property there may be technical (like a seed drill for planting) or financial assistance from government agencies, but that is becoming increasingly rare.
Ernst Seed Co. out of PA sells multiple mixes for pollinators and/or wildlife. These are the recommended plants for our area:
Good installation and management for invasive plants over time is important.

One program that you could look at which could be helpful is called the Woods in Your Backyard. See here for more: