Planting in the Right of Way
When considering what plant material to utilize in a roadside planting, safety and visibility must be thought of. Be sure to select plant species that will not cause road issues such as poor visibility, snow drifting and icing, or obscure road signs. Also, please be aware that trees and woody plants must meet the criteria of the Brush Control Policy. Also remember that the area may be occasionally shoulder mowed as part of the County's normal maintenance. Included here are some general guidelines for plant material selection.
Guidelines for Plant Material Selection
- Find out what's already growing on your site first.
- Visit nearby remnants and nearby good reconstructions if possible to see what they are like.
- Find out what species are native to your area, talk with local prairie experts.
- Decide on goals and needs of your planting - is this a butterfly garden or more for wildlife habitat and erosion control?
- If you buy seed, discuss site selection and your goals for the planting with seed dealers.
- Select species that will not cause a visibility or snow drifting issue once mature.
- How will you maintain the area once planted? Mowing/Burning/Chemicals?
Here are some groups and agencies that can provide further information or assistance on noxious weeds:
- Hardin County Roadside Vegetation Manager/Weed Commissioner - 641-939-8263
- University of Northern Iowa Tallgrass Prairie Center - 319-273-3836
- Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship - 515-281-5321
- Natural Resource Conservation Service - 319-337-2322
- Iowa Department of Transportation - 515-233-7729
- Iowa State University (Agronomy) - 515-294-1923
- The Nature Conservancy - 515-244-5044