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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:31 pm 
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Location: Dallas,TEXAS
I am researching best practices for planting butterfly-friendly host and nectar plants in an existing meadow on a school property. The area is occasionally mowed and has weeds and grasses currently. We have the go-ahead to reserve the area for no mow/no spray.

Can anyone direct me to information on preparation and maintenance of the area?
Questions are: is any soil prep necessary or does improving the soil actually not help the types of perennial, low care meadow plants I'm trying to achieve?
What about removing, plowing, or leaving the grasses alone? I've read it is often hard for the milkweeds, flowers, etc to establish when there is a thick grass mat of roots.

There is a similar type of area at white rock lake near lake highlands drive and peninsula off Buckner. I'm curious if someone planted this or if it's just been left unmowed. If you haven't visited, it's lovely to see all the butterflies right now! If you have any info on that field, I would love to know.

The proposed area is in North Dallas. Let me know if there's a more specific forum on here for this area of discussion. Thanks! Kim


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 1:35 pm 
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I would be inclined to work with the "weeds" that are in place and introduce the butterfly attractants into it. Milkweed grows easily and wild around here, and you'll find references in the Library for lots of suggestions for butterfly-attracting flowers.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 7:34 am 
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Go to the Native American Seed website and check out the different seed collections they have. You can also introduce some native grasses in the mix to help feed the wild birds.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 13, 2012 8:16 am 
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If the area hasn't been mowed for a while, it probably has lots of native grasses in it! My neighbor up the street has worked for a couple of years to establish a butterfly attracting area and it is on the edge of a chunk of prairie where she introduced milkweed (from a different part of the prairie, so in essence, this gives them the original area and a new area, closer to where she can watch them easily). My main thought is that bare soil isn't attractive to much of anything, so interpolate the seeds Sandi recommends into small cleared spots, don't plow the area bare first.

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