The preservation/restoration of prairie ecosystems is part of our responsibility as stewards of the earth. Success in reestablishing prairie plant communities has been quite variable and far from optimum. This cooperative project between the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF) and Carpenter Nature Center examine the use of horticulture plug technology as a means of improving the quality, availability, production efficiency and transplant survivability of herbaceous frob prairie species for use in prairie restoration efforts.
Data on growth rates and winter survival of bare-root seedlings and plug seedlings of Rudbeckia hirta, Ratibida pinnata and Zizea aurea in prairie test plots will be presented. The plug seedlings were stockier plants, had well developed root systems, and demonstrated excellent performance as transplants in prairie restoration efforts.