For detailed information on these methods (and more), see the external resource links at the bottom of this page.Suggested further preparation:
Native seed mixes establish differently than lawn/turf grasses: instead of germinating all at once, they come up gradually throughout the growing season (some even in the next year). We recommend adding a nurse crop (cover crop) to the mix. Quickly germinating nurse crops should hold soil and moisture in place and restrict weed growth.
Below is a table of nurse crops we have found to work well. We do not recommend Annual rye grass as a nurse crop because it outcompetes native seeds.
|Common||Species||Use for planting in:||Mix||Notes:|
|Hard fescue||Festuca brevipila||Fall, Winter|
|3-5 lbs/a; 20%||Weak competitors; do not interfere with native grasses. Shade tolerant.|
|Sheep fescue||Festuca ovina||Fall, Winter|
|3-5 lbs/a; 20%|
|Secale cereale||Early Spring or Fall||30 lbs/a; 50%||Grows 3-4′ tall, but weaker competitor than annual rye grass; better choice despite height. High salt tolerance.|
|Perennial rye||Lolium perenne||Spring – Summer||5-50 lbs/a; 20-50%||Shorter rye; lasts about 2 years, then dies out.|
|Millet (foxtail or German)||Setaria italica||Spring – Summer||5-50 lbs/a; 20-50%||Good germination; dies off with frost; does not tolerate mowing.|