Would smartweed be included in a commercial meadow seed mix for Maryland?
I bought a native meadow mix from Ernst Seed Co. My landscape contractor prepared my backyard & planted the seed mix in March. right now I am only seeing Black-eyed Susans and tons of Smartweed. Is it common practice to include smartweed in a native meadow mix? Or should I contact the seed company? My concern now is that the smartweed is invading the new seeded fescue grass area of my yard. Thank you for your advice.
Baltimore County Maryland
Hi -- You should contact Ernst Seed Co. and ask them about the components of the seed mixture (if it is not listed on the package). There are smartweeds that are native plants. For example, the common Pennsylvania smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) that many people think of as a weed is actually native to most of the U.S. https://plants.usda.gov/core/profile?symbol=pope2 That said, because many people think of it as a weed, it might be surprising that it is included in a meadow mix. You would have to ask the seed company.
If you are interested in establishing a meadow of Maryland native plants, we recommend establishing from plant plugs. It's a more involved process than starting from seeds, but it is the recommended approach if you want a truly native meadow. There is more information on the process here: https://marylandgrows.umd.edu/2019/03/08/how-to-make-a-meadow-in-maryland-steps-for-year-1/.