Rewilding is a wonderful and relaxed form of land management that anyone with plant literacy and land can practice. Essentially it boils down to removing any invasive plants and letting the natural seed bank express itself.
Rewilding is not like formal garden development. A new garden bed is not created, and soil amending isn’t considered unless there’s major mineral deficiencies. There is of course quite a lot of subjective choice in the management standards. Can introduced plants that are not considered invasive be kept? At the rewilded back edge area of our wildflower farm, we leave Mullein when it spontaneously populates. Though technically introduced, Mullein passes the ecological test for that rare category called, “a naturalized plant.”
Over the years your rewilding practice can evolve and refine itself. Here at the wildflower farm, in year 1 we simply removed all the invasive plants and watched what happened. We enjoyed the natural beauty of about 40 Heart Leaf Aster plants that spontaneously germinated, then thrived. In year 2 there was a lot of native-but-aggressive Pokeweed. Year 3 we decided to remove some of the Pokeweed to give the Asters and other natives more space. Native-but-edible weeds like Lamb’s Quarter and Amaranth grew rapidly. A Sumac sprung up and became 7 feet in height quickly.
Rewilding the Future.
Going into our 4th season at the new farm, we plan to take a more active and involved approach. We’ll manage the native “weeds” more intentionally. Over the winter we seeded the rewild zone heavily with native wildflower seeds. We relocated multiple pounds of wildflower seed harvested from other flower farm spaces. We hope to manage the Amaranth and Lamb’s Quarters by the cutting method. It will be fun to see what comes up.
Do you love the idea of rewilding a piece of your property? Want some help? Fill out our customer intake form and our design/build team will be in touch soon.