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The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Development of sustainable native wildflower and grass meadows for Maryland highway roadsides
Year: 2002
Author(s): Ugiansky, J. R., Englert, J., Kujawaski, J., Dusty, D.
Source Title: Proceedings of the Third Eastern Native Grass Symposium
Source Type: Proceedings
pages: 168-169
Original Publication:  
Abstract: A cooperative project with the Maryland State Highway Administration was initiated in 1999 to study the establishment and maintenance of native meadows compromised of diverse grasses and wildflowers native to Maryland. The establishment of these roadside meadows will increase species diversity, improve wildlife habitat, and reduce maintenance costs. Our objectives are to develop practical methods of establishing mixes of native wildflowers and grasses, taking into consideration time of year, seedbed preparation, equipment needed, and post-planting treatments. We will develop mixes using appropriate species of wildflowers and grasses to provide a primary matrix for cover and provide a sustainable wildflower display, as well as assess the suitability of currently underutilized but commercially available species of native wildflowers for use along highway roadsides. We will assess the maintenance that might be required to keep the meadow sustainable. From our results, we will develop standards and guidelines that may be used by Maryland State Highway Administration and others for seeding roadside wildflower mixes. Three mixes were used in the study; a tall mix, a short mix and a mix of underutilized species. Thirty-six establishment trial plots were seeding in June 2000, May 2001, and November 2001. The 9 treatments combined timing of seeding, planting method, and mulching. Twenty-four maintenance trail plots were seeded in May 2001 with plugs planted in July 2001. The 4 treatments including mowing, 4 oz./acre Plateau pre-emergent, 4 oz/acre Plateau post-emergent, and a control. Evaluations began in August 2001 and will continue into 2003. The majority of plots were very successful, with very few weeds. Seedling vigor and weed prevalence varied more with the site conditions and the timing of seeding than with the seeding method. Species prevalence did vary with the timing of seeding and the seeding method. As expected, some species were found to be intolerant of the 4 oz./acre pre-emergent Plateau, with many experiencing delayed germination and growth.
Publisher: The North Carolina Botanical Garden, Chapel Hill, NC, October 1-3, 2002. Omnipress, Madison, WI
Editor(s): J. Randall