Prairie plants too tall for urban area

Asked July 4, 2019, 7:36 PM EDT

The good news is that my prairie boulevard in Saint Paul is flourishing. The bad news is that each year the plants seem to be getting taller. Some are easily up to 5 feet. City ordinance is limited to 3 feet. So far, no one has complained, but it is excessive for an urban area. Plus, it's hard for drivers to see around the plants when they pull out of the alley. Short of Round-Up, do you have any suggestions for getting this area under control? I did pull out several wild bergamot plants last year and sow shorter native plant seeds as an experiment, but the new plants are still in the stage where I'm not sure if it's a weed or a plant and will probably take a couple of years to establish. Plus, I swear that the plants surrounding the seeded area grew taller with the increase in space. It would be nice to keep native plants but they must be shorter. How have other people managed this problem? Thanks.

Ramsey County Minnesota natives

1 Response

I don't know how other's have managed the problem but I would just suggest that you just choose smaller growing plants. For now it would probably make sense to just cut back the plants that are too tall. It also might be a good idea to consider putting a few plants into the area rather than seeding. There are a lot of choices, it may just take some time to find what works best. The extra rainfall this year may have helped things get a bit larger than they might usually. Here is a link to info about natives. There is a long list of natives and the size that they reach, about half way through, that you can look at and consider replacing the things that are too tall with. https://conservancy.umn.edu/bitstream/handle/11299/49021/7447fix2.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y . This link has other info that you may be interested in. https://extension.umn.edu/find-plants/native-plants