Monday, July 2, 2012

319 Grant - Blooming Bioswale!

In January, this bioswale was seeded  with a native wildflower seed mix from Missouri Wildflowers Nursery.  Unlike fescue, it takes some time for wildflowers to start growing.  Finally in early June we saw some positive signs, the coreopsis began to bloom.  Then a few weeks later, lots of natives started really growing.  The bioswale has gone from sparse to filling out!

Bioswale in early June

Bioswale in mid-June

A bit of weeding was necessary to stymie the Johnson grass and ragweed from taking over.  A variety of natives are emerging including  Partridge Pea (Cassia Fasciculata) and Coreopsis.

Partridge Pea
Tickseed coreopsis blooming with some other natives emerging.

In addition to being beautiful, native plants root more deeply which keeps soil in place and encourages stormwater runoff to infiltrate deeper into the soil.  Plants filter sediment and pollutants from stormwater runoff before going to our creeks.  Even in the extreme heat of this summer, native plants are more suited to survive. 

Native plants require some initial maintenance, but in the long term, this swale will require mowing only once per year in the fall.  This bioswale will probably be over seeded with more natives this fall to force out weeds and fescue.