Big Bluestem Prairie - Restore one of America's most important ecosystems, the Tallgrass Prairie
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Our experience with the tallgrass prairie goes back to childhood days when our grandfather would take us to see the wildflowers on the farm. The images of Prairie Lily and Black-eyed Susan along the road side and in the meadow stay with you forever. Seeing a pack of approximately 20 Greater Prairie Chickens visiting the farm in the late 1980’s renewed interest in the prairie. When the opportunity came to manage a portion of the family farm, the decision was quickly made to restore 160 acres to prairie grass and wildflowers. The planting took place in the spring of 1993 using a local ecotype Big Bluestem and Switchgrass along with a mixture that included Indiangrass, Little Bluestem, Sideoats and Green Needlegrass. Wildflower seeds collected from our prairie remnants in the summer and fall of the previous year were added to the seed mixture and planting was done with a Truax drill.

Mowing with a flail mower the first 2 growing seasons provided weed control and a burn was first used in 1996 to increase vigor of the new prairie. The native grasses and wildflowers quickly overtook the weeds and the transformation from erodible farm land to a developing prairie was nothing short of spectacular. A number of wildflowers have been added over the years by hand broadcasting in the fall and some have taken up residence on their own, notably, Small White Ladyslipper, Prairie Lily and Bottle Gentian.

It is our experience and enjoyment with prairie restoration that has convinced us to make available native grass and wildflower seed for those interested in creating a prairie landscape. This restored prairie is located in Minnesota. Please contact us about species availability and with any questions you may have on getting started.

Big Bluestem (Andropogon geradii) and Sawtooth Sunflower ( Helianthus grosseserratus)

Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya)

Black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta)

Prairie lily (Lilium philadelphicum)