Host an Event Volunteer Join Tickets

Support the plant database you love!

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Tuesday - August 31, 2004

From: Ghent, NY
Region: Northeast
Topic: Wildlife Gardens
Title: From hay to meadow
Answered by: Nan Hampton

QUESTION:

I have just acquired a 90 acre farm in the Hudson River Valley and would like to turn some hay fields into natural meadows. One, for example is 20 acres, and has been let go to weed (goldenrod, thistle, milkweed in a dense thicket). Can you direct me to books, web references, etc, which would help me understand how to recover the field and make it a permanent, relatively weed free meadow?

ANSWER:

Allow me to refer you to one of the Wildflower Center's articles entitled "Wildflower Meadow Gardening", found through on-line through our Native Plant Library. Although this is written with the Central Texas gardener in mind, the general suggestions should apply to your meadow. Regarding your local resources: The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has a program titled Hudson River Estuary Program Biodiversity Outreach and Technical Assistance Program. The program is developed for community organizations (towns, cities, and villages), & there are several publications listed & links to other organizations that could be useful for your individual project. You might also like to check out the New York Natural Heritage Program. If your property contains any rare plants or animals, it might qualify to be a part of this program. Another organization that supports native plants and landscapes is Wild Ones, Ltd.There is an affiliated New York chapter.
 

More Wildlife Gardens Questions

Native landscaping and wildlife gardening in Clifton, TX
November 29, 2004 - I am moving to Clifton, TX, and I will have an empty lot in the town along with my own home/lot. What kind of soil can I expect? I want to grow a wildflower site to just sit and enjoy and feed the a...
view the full question and answer

Color year round, welcome to Austin Texas.
December 04, 2011 - I am new to Austin and want to plant colorful flowers for fall and winter that get a "wow" reaction. I have not seen much at the local nurseries. Any and all suggestions are greatly appreciated!
view the full question and answer

Understory plants for creek side in Austin
September 22, 2008 - We live along Shoal Creek in central Austin and would like to establish a natural balance of vegetation along the creek. We currently have a high tree canopy made up of native Cedar Elms. What would...
view the full question and answer

Plants for a mixed hedgerow for privacy and for the birds
May 07, 2010 - What are the best native plants for a mixed hedgerow in a small backyard? I want privacy (heights 5'-10') and bird friendly. Thank you for your information.
view the full question and answer

Appropriate riverbed and quail habitat plantings for southwest OK
September 27, 2009 - Mr Smarty Pants, I have an area in extreme SW Oklahoma along the Red River. What native plants could I plant that are both appropriate for the sandy/saline soils in the vegetative area of the river b...
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.