Need Ideas for planting hill side?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Tim C., Feb 20, 2007.

  1. Tim C.

    Tim C. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I was approached by a landfill to install planting beds on the side of a closed site they have. There is existing grass in place and they want ot add color, as it is along a major highway. The side is at least 4-5 acres. We are planning on a couple half acre sized beds. I am thinking of using some kind of wildflower or groundcover in seed form do to budget and size. I am lost as to what to use and where I can get seed like this. They want the beds to be contoured and maintained in a somewhat contained mature. I was thinking of using different types of plants in each bed for maximum color. Any help would be appreciated
  2. gammon landscaping

    gammon landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 551

    cotoniester (sp)

    maybe buy out a daylilly farm?
  3. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,497

    I don't have them in front of me but consult with a seed company. You just talk to them and they'll gather what you're looking for an recommend a combination of this and that seed. Then you'll be on your way to your "meadow". Search the web, you'll find some places.
  4. MaineFert

    MaineFert LawnSite Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 115

    Rugosa Rose, Red-Osier Dogwood, Ornamental Grasses, Cottoneaster. All natural low-maintenance shrubs, except for the rose. You will have to prune it every 3 years or so, unless you want it to go "Jumanji"
  5. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    Steep hills= jasmine
  6. Tim C.

    Tim C. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 54

    I appreciate everyone's help. The site only has 6-12 inches of dirt before you hit clay. I was not planning on using bushes because of the size of the beds and the poor soil conditions, but agree the recommend bushes would work good. I have never dealt with any seed companies, except for grass seed. Does anyone have any they would recommend? I was planning on using coneflowers and some kind of groundcover, but was looking for some more variety.
  7. lakesregionscapes

    lakesregionscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Daylilies are tough buggers that can spread to out-compete most weeds - small plants will grow and fill out in one season. Use a mix of hybrids so you aren't stuck with a 2 week show, and then just green. Coneflowers are also hardy (our yard is full of them) but they tend to grow tall and flop over here - maybe too rich in our soil.
    Check out if your local highways have wildflowers used along the sides and medians - what does well there probably will do OK in your site as long as the soils are similar. They could also tell you where they get wildflower seed by the pound. Here in NE we see a lot of lupine/bluebonnets, white field daisies, purple clover, black-eyed susans... I would think that maintaining them as drifts of flowers would consist more of mowing around them a few times a season, and mowing the bed at the end of the year. Maybe a little less formal than what they have in mind; more naturalised looking.
  8. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    Try a web search for prairie seed+Illinois to find a local seed dealer. Taylor Creek, Agrecol, and Prairie Nursery in southern Wisconsin should be able to supply wildflower and grass seed that are native to your area. They have many seed mixes to choose from. Seeding the one acre that you mentioned should be much cheaper than installing live plants.

    Existing grass could be killed and native seed planted into the stubble with a seeder or grain drill attachment on a tractor. Using a seeder or drill will cause the least soil disturbance of any seeding method which will result in fewer weeds than other seeding methods. The client should be made aware that weed control will be needed the first two years. (mechanical and spot spraying herbicide) After the second year the only maintenance that should be needed is an annual mowing or burning.
  9. ooo

    ooo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 235

  10. MrH117

    MrH117 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 12

    Plant it with prairie natives. You can get custom made seed mixes from seed sources. Flowering plants are called forbs...there are some really kickass plants that will bring color thru the whole season. Mix forbs with grasses and sedges. Make sure the choices fit your site.i.e dry or wet. check out this website Great info on the species and a manual for establishing a prairie planting.

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