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Homegrown: How to grow a prairie garden

The trick to growing a wildflower garden.
Published: Jul. 1, 2021 at 10:02 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 1, 2021 at 4:56 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - One of the challenges for a gardener with limited space to work is finding plants that offer blossoms throughout the summer and into the fall, which is why the versatility of a prairie garden is an excellent solution.

Prairie gardens offer a mix of flowers that bloom throughout the summer and well into the fall, handing off the baton to one another month after month.

Once matured, a prairie garden can become very versatile. It can be grown out over acres, divided and repurposed for landscaping, or parceled into container gardens. When a prairie garden is filled out, it can even choke out weeds and rely largely on rainwater instead of a regular watering schedule.

But despite some large prairie gardens looking wild, starting one takes some hard work and patience.

“The number one thing to remember when you start a prairie garden is to have patience with it,” said Aron McReynoles, the owner of New Life Lavender & Cherry Farm, who grows eight acres of prairie garden. “It takes a few years to cultivate the garden before it starts to take off.”

The garden must start small and in well-tilled earth. Flower seed mixes can be found at a garden center like a Jung Garden Center. The garden must be watered every two to three days and weeded closely.

How to start growing a prairie garden.

After a year or two of expansion, the perennial flowers can go without consistent watering and weeding and can be moved or modified to fit the garden you want to create.

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