OutsidePride has strange way of treating customers

Kunkletown, PA

I tried to contact the "support" dept of OutsidePride and found they only
answer email (supposedly). Tried, and never received a response. After 5
days I tried again via phone. Had a simple question regarding native
grass/wildflower mix. The sales dept was adament that there is no phone
contact for "support" even when I almost begged to speak briefly to
someone. I told them their business will surely suffer with such
disregard of customers. I will never place an order with them; nor should
anyone concerned about the quality of American companies. Let them

Kunkletown, PA

I want to establish a 2 acre mixed native grass/wildflower meadow in Carbon County, NE Pennsylvania. As I was about to order wildflower seed, I read the vendors "disclaimer" that said wild flowers require the same tender loving care as regular flowers -including weeding etc. I was left feeling the money on wildflower seed might as well be thrown to the winds. I can't see myself on my hands & knees crawling over 2 acres looking between native grasses to find and pull weeds. I wanted to till several times (to knock out weeds), mix the native grass & wildflower seed, sow, till lightly to cover seeds - and do a rain dance.

What is the best method for establishing such a meadow? I would appreciate any suggestions, experiences, etc. Thanks for any help.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Unfortunately weeds are a reality of life so you can't get rid of them once and expect them to be gone forever. You can eliminate weeds from the area before you plant, but there are still going to be weed seeds in the soil and every year seeds are going to get blown in, dropped by animals/birds, etc. If you look carefully at any natural meadows that may be growing in your area, you'll find that they're a mix of native wildflowers and introduced weeds. You can put down pre-emergent herbicides to keep seeds from germinating, but that'll prevent your native plants from reseeding too. So you can go out there and weed, or else let the meadow go on its own for a few years, and if it gets to a point where the weeds are taking over you can mow the whole thing down and start over again.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

I've found that tilling is very good for weeds. Must bring seeds to the surface adn encourage them to germinate. I've decided it's counter-productive, but don't know where to go from here...

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Texas just burns off the old, chuckle, then waits for the rain-opens up the area for ALL sorts of new growth, like burning off the eucalyptus leaves every so many years. They DO like to control the efforts tho, surprise efforts arent too well recieved...

Bar Harbor, ME

The vitriol that starts this thread seems equal only to the horticultural inexperience of its author. Demolish your previous effort and hire a professional. Anyone who plants a seed anywhere needs to tend it. Weeding is essential regardless of the size of the site. The grandeur of your vision is irrelevant to the amount of work required to bring it to success.

Gardening might teach you to weed out, not only the undesirable plants in your yard, but also the narcissistic entitlement in personality.

Pelzer, SC(Zone 7b)

Wow. "narcissistic entitlement in personality"?? I don't even know what that means.

I find the above comments pretty harsh when directed at someone venting about a bad experience with a vendor. It was hardly vitriolic. The second post was a request for help, but were I that poster, I sure wouldn't find this helpful.

Being "horticulturally inexperienced" was what brought me to Dave's Garden, and I've been guided by the best Gardeners (and others) that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting (so to speak). Isn't that the reason most of us are here, to learn, assist, or teach?

In my area, there are naturally occuring wildflower meadows, so not every planting needs constant care and weeding. The trick is to find out how to balance the plants you want to encourage with the ones that are going to grow whether you like it or not. A surprising number of "weeds" will prove to be "wildflowers" in the correct setting.

I've been wanting to do the same thing in a specific place one my property. In the past it was planted to bait deer, but I'd like it to be better than that.

So, should anyone have some helpful advice, I'd love to hear it, as well. I'll look for a thread that might be better directed to that end.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 9a)

Griping because someone can't, doesn't help in the do- it just goes over the head while blowing your own self esteem way out of bounds. Pennsylvanian, some folx consider weeds and wildflowers to be the same thing, tilling will open ground up to allow more weeds in usually. Research some other establishments that aren't just interested in selling everything they can without support of their product...in the order of growing plants, when an area of ground is opened up, the hardiest plants are weeds. Their life contributes to replenishing the nutrients missing in the soils, then the grasses slowly move in, and finally to bushes and trees when the natural order progresses thru the plant cycle. I don't know the business you speak of, but it is possible they are more accustomed to opening their doors to the business of commercial businesses-established quick moving labor. Here in Texas we trade seeds of our natives, and sowing some of them is done by mudballs, roll and chunk, chuckle, allowing them to merge with what is already there, and establish themselves while slowly removing the rest, changing the others to the balance you desire-taking on a whole meadow at a time can get a bit daunting without machinery. Then there is always the wild population to tip the balances and add in their contributions to your perfectly wild meadow...

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Haha. Spread some seeds and presto! There's a perfect meadow just like in the magazine and catalog pics. If you're a real gardener you know it doesn't happen that way. No work, no payoff. Forget about it.
If you garden you will be on your hands and knees quite frequently pulling weeds.

Kunkletown, PA

I am the guy that started this thread. I am 68 years old and have been gardening all my life. I have pulled or destroyed hundreds of thousands of weeds. I have also lived through the "customer service" enthusiasm of the late 1980s (remember the video of the gas station where they handed you a paper & coffee while they pumped your gas? : companies where every phone had to be answered before the 4th ring, Walmarts would open a new checkout lane if more than 3 people were seen in line, etc. only to see the era supplanted by the "your call is very important to us era". To have been told that "customer support" had no phone contact was very annoying - hence my first post. That's concern - not vitriol, Kenarden. Nor do I feel that all weeds should lie prostrate because I have entered the garden. I did not find your comments helpful,

The reality of "re-establishing native plants" or "designing a self-sustaining" ecology is that any ecology exists only within a given global environment that changes constantly. To think we can "go back in time" or "make time stand still" (i.e.: self-sustaining) is foolhardy. The invasives will win when you turn your back. The climate will change, an African beetle will arrive. Nothing is static. Still, there are efforts at "prairie reestablishment" that somewhat succeed. I will rejoice at partial success using the thoughts some of you have shared. Thank you.

This message was edited Jul 20, 2011 8:29 PM

Albany, NY(Zone 5a)

:) good luck Pennsylvanian! Who'd a thunk, so much commotion over a meadow! Lol i share your "vitriol" over the lack of customer service, and i hope you can find a company that can help you build your dream.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

My apologies for being flippant, sir. You obviously are a devoted and experienced gardener and not a noob. Sorry.

Crofton, MD(Zone 7a)

Maybe we need a venting forum. There would have to be rules of course.

For a time I was pretty darned mad at the books I'd read on native plant gardening. They made it sound easy to have a low maintenance native garden. Not in my case. The small size of my yard and the green (grass) space around it (controlled by the HOA and tended by people who know nothing about gardening, only how to operate heavy equipment) made my garden a fertile target for weedy species' seeds, both native and not. It has taken me some years to figure out a strategic defense. I still have a lot of work to do and some of it is (ARG!!!!) my own fault. Some of my early native plantings were to aggressive in my small yard!

Like Pennsylvanian said, we can't go back in time We have to make adjustments in our plans and keep on trying.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I'd recommend to Pennsylvanian (shout out to state of my birth!) and others who wish to establish meadows/prairies/etc. that they take a step back and do just a little reading and research. There is copious info out there, and will save "replowing" the same ground others have already trodden for you.

Spence Restoration Nursery in Muncie, Indiana is a company I respect most highly. They are more interested in education than customers, which is why they are never in a customer deficit. Same goes for The Nature Conservancy - tried and true, by practice. They don't have anything to sell you but inspiration and doing it right.

Most of the info you will find will recommend taking the time to exhaust the seed bank that already exists on your acreage BEFORE doing anything else. Hurrying to sow the new seed is usually the quickest route to disappointment.

Let us know if there is more you'd like to know.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Great advice, VV! I'm going to heed it myself. :-)

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

You da wabbit...

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