In 伊利诺伊州和威斯康辛州原生植物在特定的生境中自然生长, 生态系统, 或者没有人类介入的地区. 基本上，它们是在人类出现之前就存在的植物! These plants have formed mutually beneficial relationships with native wildlife over thousands of years, 从而提供最可持续的栖息地和食物来源. Native plant species are specifically adapted to local soil and weather conditions and will thrive without assistance once established if planted in the proper location.
Non-native plants that have evolved in other parts of the world or have been cultivated by humans into forms that don’t exist in nature do not support wildlife as well as native plants. 偶尔, non-native or cultivated plants can escape into the wild and become invasive exotics that displace native species and destroy natural habitats.
Native plants are typically defined by the type of habitat they grow in – 湿地, 林地或草原. 那里有美丽的开花植物, “福布斯, 以及这些栖息地的草和莎草.
本地植物可以提供各种 生态系统葡京会官方网站app, commonly defined as the benefits to humans provided by the natural environment and from healthy 生态系统s. For example, native plants with especially deep root systems provide important benefits, including:
- Outstanding erosion control – Large, perennial prairie root systems create year-round soil “anchors.” They are especially effective in stabilizing shorelines and preventing loss of soil from farm fields.
- 增加降雨和径流渗透-健康, 多样化的根系群落改善了土壤结构, 增加地下空间和吸收有机物质. 因此，水更容易渗透 深入土壤 而不是流动 在 景观. 这有助于减少洪水，防止沉积物进入水道.
- 碳固存——成熟, undisturbed prairies store more carbon below ground than forests can store above ground, 帮助减少全球变暖.
- Nutrient reduction – Actively growing prairie roots take up nitrogen and phosphorus that could otherwise pollute our waterways.
Site preparation is a big part of any successful native seed or plant installation. This may take more than one growing season depending on the amount of non-native plant material present along with any seeds that have accumulated in the soil. 如果有合适的本地植物, we make sure to carefully work around these plants while focusing on removing unwanted vegetation.
如果场地很小，某些不需要的植物可以通过手工除草去除. For larger sites, the selective use of EPA-approved herbicides is typically recommended. 使用除草剂的频率取决于现场条件, 物种的存在, 以及土壤中存在的种子库. Repeat applications may be required before native seed or plants can be installed. It should be noted that prescribed burning can sometimes be used to prepare a site, 但这种做法最常用于维护已建立的自然区域.
The timing for installation depends on whether we are installing seed or live plants. The optimal time to install native seed is from the fall to late spring (September to early June). 一些本地种子物种需要持续暴露在寒冷中, 称为冷分层, 发芽在春天发芽. 经常, a temporary cover crop is included in the seed mix to provide soil stabilization while we wait for the native plants to grow. 如果不使用覆盖作物, 其他控制侵蚀的措施，如控制侵蚀的垫地，可以安装.
Live plants are planted during the growing season, between May and late September. Spring plantings are preferred in order to give the plants ample time to develop enough of a root system to withstand summer heat and droughts. Otherwise, careful attention to watering is required throughout the summer months. Trees and shrubs are typically planted in the fall after the plants have gone dormant in order to reduce transplant shock.
维护 of newly planted natural areas again depends on whether you installed seed or live plants. Native seed typically takes about three years to develop into flowering native plants. 在此期间, native plants put most of their energy into growing their root systems and so mowing is recommended to suppress non-native annual plants without negatively impacting natives. Mowing allows for more light to reach new native seedlings while preventing fast-growing annuals from reseeding.
We suggest mowing at least three times during the first growing season at a height of ten inches. 随着本地植物生长得更好，每年需要的割草就更少了. Careful herbicide applications should also be utilized during the first few years of establishment. 注意避免在任何本地物种上过度喷洒. Selective herbicides can be used to only target nonnative forbs; these will have no effect on grasses. Grass-specific herbicides can be utilized to treat nonnative grasses; these will have no effect on forbs.
Once the native seed has grown into established plants or after installing live plants, maintenance involves removing weeds by hand for small sites or selective herbicide application and/or prescribed burning for larger sites. 葡京会官方版网站’s staff is trained and licensed to apply herbicide in order to safely and selectively target non-native plant species while taking extreme caution to avoid desirable native plants.
Prescribed burns are recommended every two or three years after a newly installed natural area matures. Prescribed burning mimics historic fire regimes that native plants are adapted to. 火将养分带回土壤并清除谷壳, 给本地植物更多的生长空间. The blackened soil also absorbs and retains heat, giving plants a spring head start. 工业光魔的工作人员经过培训并获得许可，可以执行规定的烧伤.
Since native plants are specifically adapted to the soils in which they are planted, 不需要施肥. We do often recommend overseeding or supplemental planting a few years after a new planting in order to increase plant diversity.