Meadowizing 1/2 acre #789584

Asked May 06, 2022, 3:08 PM EDT

This spring on PG Anacostia trails swaths of buttercups have arisen. Magnificent! Though I switched to an electric mower, meadowizing to support the pollinators seems highest logic. I want to emulate what PG County PARKS & RECREATION have accomplished. Online advice is to install bulbs or start from seed. Can enough broadcast seeding of a variety of buttercup or another flowering perennial afford a percentage of successful return after the birds have their share? Or is bulb installation over a half-acre required to get the 'ball' rolling? What is the park's magic installation trick for such broad coverage seemingly over one season?

District of Columbia County District of Columbia

Expert Response


It’s wonderful to hear that you have transitioned to an electric mower. And your interest in a native meadow will even further reduce your mowing!

I recommend checking out the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ page on backyard meadows. They not only provide an overview of site preparation, but also suggested plants.  Mid-Atlantic Native Meadow guide is another great resource and it goes more in detail on the process.

No buttercups are native to Maryland – many of the plants in the same family, Ranunculaceae are in fact invasive species (Lesser celandine, Fig Buttercup). However, there are many native flowers with beautiful yellow blooms. You can actually search by bloom color under the filters on the Native Plant Center site – click ‘show more filters’.

If you would prefer to have a landscaper install your meadow, a great place to find a qualified professional is by searching for a certified Chesapeake Bay Landscape professional.  On their search page, you can filter by type of project, such as conservation landscape with native plants.


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