Cleared a large area - What do you recommend for native pasture?

Asked March 11, 2019, 12:23 PM EDT

I live in Anne Arundel County. My community cleared a large area of wooded fringe, clearing out wild grape vines, various saplings and multi-floral rose etc..What would you recommend we plant that would be fast growing and be competitive that the plants removed have difficulty reviving. Could you recommend possibly wild flowers/seed mix that we could establish a native pasture that we would only bush hog once or twice a year?

Anne Arundel County Maryland plant selection natives meadows

1 Response

One option would be to consider establishing a native meadow. Our native plants expert recently wrote instructions on how to establish a meadow using native grasses and perennial plants. You can find the article here: https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/03/08/how-to-make-a-meadow-in-maryland-steps-for-year-1/ As the article suggests, you could start with a small area and then expand the meadow in future years.

We do not recommend using commercially available wildflower mixes. These mixes typically contain seeds that are not native and not well adapted here. They last only one season, sometimes two, and then they have to be replanted.

Another option would be to plant a variety of container grown native ornamental grasses and shrubs. A great resource for plant selection is the "Native Plants for Wildlife Habitat and Conservation Landscaping" publication: https://www.fws.gov/chesapeakebay/pdf/NativePlantsforWildlifeHabitatandConservationLandscaping.pdf. There is also the equivalent searchable database: http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/

There are lists in the back of the book (PDF version) -- plants for dry meadows, wet meadows, understory shrubs, etc. Look for plants that are adapted to the Coastal Region of Maryland (which includes Anne Arundel County).

ckc