Land Management & Wildlife Enhancement
Prairie Land Management :: Land Management & Wildlife Enhancement
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Habitat Information: Native Grass & Prairie

Nesting, Brooding, Loafing and Bedding Cover - Establishing several variations of native grasses will provide you with all of the components. Thick native grass stays standing through the winter for some of the best winter habitat complimented with your tree plantings. A diverse native grass stand will provide you with the best nesting and brooding cover. Again, use your native grass plantings to connect the tree plantings, food sources and other habitat areas.

Order PLM Grass Seed early for best prices!

Native sod forming grasses, such as Switch Grass, Canada Wildrye, Little Bluestem, and Side Oats Gramma, to mention a few, historically dominated much of the open prairie between stands of hardwoods. The majority of these grasses have disappeared with the introduction of development and agriculture, but are still established in areas left unsuitable to these activities.

Native vegetation represents a balance between climate, soil and wildlife that has been replaced by introduced species such as Smooth Brome, Kentucky Bluegrass, alfalfa and clover, etc. in areas where established vegetation cover is needed for controlling soil erosion. While they establish quickly, introduced vegetation often deteriorates, especially when planted on poor soils. Frequently their sod opens up and weeds invade.

Native grasses, because they develop deep root systems (12 to 15 feet deep), provide very good long term erosion control. The deep root systems can gain access to nutrients and moisture that shallow rooted vegetation can not reach.

Native grasses may establish somewhat slowly. Cover crops may be needed to provide short-term erosion control in highly erosive areas while the native vegetation establishes, otherwise a cover crop is not recommended to keep competition at a minimum. During the first two years, native vegetation may appear weedy and unkept (mowing is recommended). Most of their energy is allocated to root development during this period but usually reach maturity by the third year. When native vegetation has established, there are very few weeds which will be able to compete for nutrients and water in the soil. Native vegetation will eventually starve out and hold out undesirable weeds.

Native vegetation is excellent for wildlife habitat because of their good winter stability and potential food sources. They grow tall (up to 4 to 6 feet) with wire-stiff stems that stay standing through winter, thereby providing thick, dense cover for pheasants, deer and other wildlife. It also provides valuable dense spring nesting cover and protection from predation during critical time periods. Pocket gophers dislike native vegetation due to the fact that there are no edible root systems available as are with clover and alfalfa and the thick fibrous root systems deter gophers to easier tunneling elsewhere. The ultimate benefit of developing native vegetation is that chemical use will decrease, noxious weed costs will decrease, maintenance costs will decrease and wildlife and environmental benefits will improve dramatically.

Some conservation improvements using native vegetation include: planting native vegetation in areas that were previously planted with introduced vegetation to reduce or eliminate pocket gophers and noxious weed problems; establishing designated nesting areas; establishment on droughty soils to utilize haying or rotational grazing on these unproductive soils; developing buffer zones along wetlands, drainage ways, fence lines or other field borders. Before wetland restoration projects are performed, native vegetation can be established near the estimated water level to ensure noxious weeds will not be a problem.

Native Prairie Establishment

PLM promotes establishing native grasses and wildflowers for development of winter cover and ideal nesting and brooding cover. Native prairie is proven to starve out and hold out un- desirable weeds, such as thistles! Management is made easier due to the reduction of gopher mounds. Rotational grazing is an option, native grasses increases average daily weight gain during the mid summer of traditional cool season grasses.

Native prairie is not established well under conventional planting techniques; however, PLM has been a pioneer in development of new planting methods to establish faster more successful native grass stands. With over 150,000 acres established, PLM is one of the most experienced organizations when it comes to establishing native prairie. This extensive experience provides you with the confidence that you are working with one of the best!

Please contact PLM for further information or free proposals for projects. We carry an entire line of native grass seed and wildflower seeds that can be specifically designed to your liking and your site objectives.

Site Preparation and mowing available also! Call for free estimates for projects or for technical information.

Periodic burning is an essential part of establishing and maintaining native prairies. Native prairies often become "over taken" by woody vegetation and invasive weeds that may be considered "noxious weeds". Timely burn suppresses invasive vegetation while stimulating the native prairie. It is truly remarkable to see how a prairie responds to fire management you will see more vigorous native grasses and increased diversity of wildflowers after a timely prescribed burn!

PLM is fully insured and has several state certified fire crews to provide prescribed burning services. PLM's certified fire technicians know and understand fire behavior and have extensive fire-fighting equipment on site to assure a safe burning environment.

Native Prairie in a bag is ideally suited for the smaller landscaping project, lake-scaping, low maintenance lawns, erosion control, or other areas smaller than one acre. Each bag of Prairie Mix contains a mix of grasses best suited for the tall grass or short grass prairie. Add our special prairie wildflower mix for color. Instructions for site prep and planting included with each order. We can also design special mixes to meet your needs. If you need seed for a larger area contact us for current prices.

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Incredible Burn Team

Greetings. I know from my business that a majority of the responses we receive from customers are negative. We do a good job, but few people ever take the time to say "thank you" and acknowledge a job well done. I'd like to be one of the few.

PLM and their burn team waited patiently for the weather to cooperate before performing our burn. They stayed in close communication all the while. Last Wednesday was "the day" and they arrive in the early afternoon. Armed with the necessary (as well as needless) paperwork from the City Of Minnetrista and who knows who else, they diplomatically explained to the fire department that all was OK.

Cut to the chase: These folks work hard and long. They are pleasant, knowledgeable and thorough. This was by far the best burn we have ever had! They got into every nook and corner. They stayed until (gulp!) 10:00pm that night and checked everything the next morning.

They got the attitude, the skill and the commitment. Great job!

Tim & Susan Clark

9100 West Hill Rd.

Minnetrista, MN 55388


PLM is a 1st Class operation and would be an excellent choice should you decide to move forward with this project and need someone to take care of all the details for you. PLM restored about 25-30 acres of native prairie and shelterbelts on our Church property, which I'm the Property Board Chairman. The site looks great. Still a couple of years away from its full potential but coming along very nice.

Brad Cobb
1020 11th. Ave. N.
St.Cloud, MN 56303


My wife and I have consulted with PLM several times over the last six months regarding 200 acres of prairie and wetland restoration, in west central Minnesota, we are just now starting. Kyle has always been most responsive and helpful; and now we plan to have his firm more actively involved in both the management and actual restoration work over the next several years (and beyond).

Gary Gustafson


My brothers, my dad, and myself bought a 360-acre recreational farm in Ottertail county (western MN) about three years ago. I went to a seminar that Kyle was putting on and was instantly excited about his enthusiasm and knowledge about land management. Everything he talked about was the exact reason we bought this land. We immediately contacted Kyle and he went to work. Unfortunately we had about 120 acres that had been an un-maintained CRP program, which is a poor soil base to start. Kyle told us that it could take four to five years to see any real progress, but we were optimistic. It has now been three years and PLM will be able to harvest the 60 acres of Native Prairie Grass that they planted. It has turned into a great stand of habitat for pheasants, deer, and turkeys. Next spring we will be planting about 6500 trees for wind and snow breaks all through the property as well as food plots and buffer strips. All this will be done with excellent cost share programs and very little out of pocket expense. Not only has Kyle been great to work with but also he has turned into a great friend. We have and will continue to promote Kyle and his highly experienced staff to any and all land owners like yourself that have an open mind to what awesome program he has. In our mind it was such a "No Brainer". Just think if we all cared about land and habitat like PLM does! Good luck with your property.

Matt Schmidt


Prairie Land Management
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