Fall Plantings of Nativesany advice?

Arlington, MA

I'm putting in some small plants and bare root natives in my dry-ish yard--some in the north, mostly shady, and in the south, full sun for at least some of the season. My previous success rate is low.

Any tips on keeping these alive while they get established? Eventually they won't have to be watered (though I may water them anyway if there is another drought year), but for now, how late in the fall and early in the spring should I water? Should I fence in the bare roots? (The critters are hungrier than usual--they're nibbling on unusual things.) Thanks for any guidance.

if names would help, here they are:
Aster oblongifolius (pink aster)
Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem)
Allium cernuum (Nodding Onion)
Sporobolus heterolepis (Prairie Dropseed)
Liatris scariosa (Northern Blazing Star)
Silene virginica (Fire Pink)
Scutellaria incana (Hoary Skullcap)
Rudbeckia subtomentosa (Sweet Black-eyed Susan)
Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Personally, I would make sure the ground around the bare roots stays moist for as long as you can water this fall.

I don't think you need to protect the roots from nibblers, but it might be a good idea to put rocks around the plantings to keep squirrels from digging them up...not because they want to eat them, but because they want to bury nuts in the nice soft soil. It will help prevent frost heaves, too.

Those are nice plant choices and should do well, with the possible exception of Prairie Dropseed. I have tried to grow it in several places and it never survives the winter. I hope you'll have better luck!

Arlington, MA

Muddy1, thank you. I got most of them in then had to go out of town unexpectedly. Before planting, the squirrels did, as you say, pat and furrow in the slightly-raised bed with its loosened soil. Here's my plan: chicken wire around the bed (it's a limited area, almost the only full-sun spot) then provide them with an alternative pile or dirt or two.

Sorry to hear you lost Prairie Dropseed. In zone 6b (why is that not in my profile? hmmm) I have a couple of dropseed plants that have survived, but not thrived, over two winters. Doing better--Eragrostis spectabilis, Purple Love Grass, in part sun. This is my third try with the Little Bluestem (first two were plugs, then seeds), this time with established (if small) plants.

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