Home Prairie and Wetland Center
16245 S US Hwy 71
Belton, MO 64012
Tel: (816) 331-9738
Fax: (816) 331-9739

Frequently Asked Questions

Do you have a question about one of our products or how to use native plants effectively? We've developed a list of commonly asked questions and answers and categorized them so you can quickly find the information you need. If you don't find the answer to your question, please refer to the Resources section of our website or contact us at info@critsite.com.

Can I establish a wet meadow prairie from seed in the bottom of a standard detention basin?

Yes, providing the site is properly prepared and void of competing vegetation. Eliminate existing cool season turf grasses with a Glyphosate based herbicide (Roundup or equal) prior to seeding. Critsite offers an excellent native seed mix containing local-source native grasses, wildflowers, and some wetland species for use in establishing a wet meadow prairie in the bottom of a standard detention basin (see 'Tip Sheet' for "Creating a Wet Meadow." In most applications, the user should utilize a biodegradable straw blanket (Greenfix WS072 or NAG S150BN) to ensure that the seed does not float from the soil. Our firm also recommends the use of a mycorrhizal inoculant (GroLife granular, or equal) per the seed producer's recommendation at the time of seed installation.

How early in the spring should I plant natives?

Like all plants, native plants do best when planted when soil temperatures are warm, usually in late April and early May when the danger of frost is past and spring rains are dependable. Saying that, you can plant earlier in the year in protected areas as long as the ground is workable, you can keep the ground moist and can prevent frost heaving.

Should I mulch native plants?

Spring mulching: Mulch can be applied about 1 inch thick after transplants are in the ground. If soil is kept too moist, native plants may experience root rot and die.

Fall mulching: After the plants go dormant, mulch with bark, pea gravel or compost to a depth of 2 inches. Mulching keeps the soil temperature more even, reducing the effects of erratic temperature swings of the winter and spring months by keeping the soil frozen, reducing water loss, and reducing frost heaving.

Mulching large plantings (over 1000 sq. ft.) is usually cost prohibitive and very labor intensive. Most large prairie plantings are able to survive with no mulching.

How do I plant and care for native plants? Can I plant native plants in the fall?

Our customers are buying more native plants and trees in the fall because they are having such good success. Plants use the warm soils of autumn to establish a vigorous root system before the ground freezes. Come spring the plants have a head start and appear with lush foliage, often blooming that first year. Additionally, the more established root systems sustain the plants better through summer droughts. Fall planting gives gardeners a chance to decide what to add to their garden with the images of summer fresh in their minds.