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Johnson County

Research-based Information You Can Trust — Localized for your needs

Johnson County
11811 S. Sunset Drive
Suite 1500
Olathe, KS 66061

Office Hours:

Monday - Friday,
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

(913) 715-7000
(913) 715-7005 fax

Map to our office

K-State Research and Extension is committed to making its services, activities and programs accessible to all participants. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting Johnson County Extension at (913)715-7000. Notify staff of accommodation needs as early as possible.

Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service

K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Native Vegetation for Your Landscape or Pasture

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Spring weather should hopefully be coming soon, and with it comes new green growth. Many plants require annual fertilization such as our cool season grasses found in our yards and in our brome and fescue pastures. But what about our native species? Big bluestem, sideoats grama, purple coneflower, coreopsis, and many more are all species found natively in this area.

These native species are well adapted to our climate. This means that they do not require fertilization on an annual basis, or even at all. Their roots form relationships with other organisms in the soil, such as fungi and bacteria, to produce all of the nutrients that they require to grow.

What happens if a native area has been fertilized? Not to worry. Your plants won’t be truly harmed from it. But you have provided a better environment for introduced species such as brome, bluegrass, and even weeds. You may see a plant population shift, but a little bit of rigorous weeding in the growing season can help keep your invasive plants in check. Remember, a weed is technically a plant out of place. Any plant can be considered a weed, or even a desirable. Its how a number of "invasive" species have come to exist in the landscape in the first place.

If you’re looking for vegetation for your landscape or pasture, you might consider planting native. They require no fertilizer and are generally much less labor intensive in management practices. If you’d like to consider planting some native species, check out our cost share programs for native grass seed.