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Avatar for PaulinNewYork
May 8, 2017 11:42 AM CST

Hi, I've started to reclaim an old family farm in Pennsylvania near Scranton and I'd like to start a large wildflower garden where there is currently just wild grasses growing, which I mow monthly during the summer. My thought is to scatter Zinnia seeds and possibly purchase bags of commercial wildflower mixtures. I won't be able to water the garden as water is unavailable.

Here are my questions:
- can I just scatter the seeds on the mowed area, or do I need a motorized tiller to break up the soil first?
- how can I get rid of the mowed grasses which presumably will re-grow and compete with the wildflowers?
- can anyone recommend a good book about wildflower gardening?

Thanks, Paul
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May 9, 2017 6:11 AM CST
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
Garden Sages Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
Generally, attempting to plant mowed turf is doomed to failure.
I understand that fire is used out west in the high grass prairies to prevent the prairies from becoming uniformly grass.
You can try tilling, but I've always found a tiller to be generally useless.
At my house, a shovel works very well.
At your house....
Maybe get started last fall, by leaving the dropped leaves on the ground to smother the grass.... Or smother it one of the other ways, like cardboard or mulch or whatever.
Waiting until spring.... Not so good.
Avatar for PaulinNewYork
May 9, 2017 7:36 AM CST

Stone, thanks for your insights. I obviously have a lot to learn about gardening. Your web site is very nice, by the way.
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