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We will be moving next year, and I will finally have a small garden!

Near where we live now, there is a HUGE green area, with all kinds of wild grasses. The kind you look at, and you can SEE they could be the original forms of our modern grains. I love those, they are pretty, and my guinea-pigs love munching on them.

The Garden I will have is at a newly built house, so there will be no truly established greens on the garden -> Building company will do a basic lawn, but that's it.

How would I best proceed to get the wild grassed to the new place? Would it make sense to try and collect seeds this year? Or can I just go and dig out a little patch of wild grasses next year, and transplant them into the new garden?

PS: Location is southern Germany, the Big Green Patch is a "Streuobstwiese"... Just an area where some fruit trees are semi-public and are usually marked when ppl walking by are allowed to pick the fruit. PPS: NO idea about soil-type, grasses grow like crazy on the Streuobstwiese, and the house is not even built, I will have whatever soil they use to plant the small lawn..

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  • Can you tell us your location and the type of soil where you live?
    – kevinskio
    May 9, 2023 at 11:28
  • Seeds would make sense...considering many are probably annuals.
    – Ecnerwal
    May 9, 2023 at 11:50
  • What is the general nature of this "green area?" Is it a farm? A park? Something else? What you are reasonably allowed to do there will be very different for different types of place.
    – Boba Fit
    May 9, 2023 at 12:39
  • The surrounding grasses will fill in the bare ground. Had a builder friend who did not plant grass after a house was built. Just had the area mowed to eliminate tall weeds. May 9, 2023 at 15:33
  • Can you not buy seeds from a garden center ? May 10, 2023 at 0:37

1 Answer 1

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The thing about wild plants is, they do not want to be eaten. And they want to spread.

The wild ancestor of lettuce is lactuca serriola. It will do its best to take over your garden. And it may not be particularly good for you or your pets to eat.

Some wild ancestors of domestic plants are somewhat more appetizing. The ancestor of domestic tomatoes might be an example. It has small fruit that many find quite attractive. And cross breeding with domestic varieties seems to be adding to the variation in commercial varieties.

A significant potential advantage of wild growing plants is they are almost always going to be adapted to the local climate. You can probably worry less about watering, etc.

Before you go collecting on some nearby green space you should make sure you have permission to be there and to collect whatever you collect. And, make sure what you are collecting is something you really want in your garden.

Wild plants are going to be fairly easy to gather. They are usually quite hardy and will tolerate a lot of abuse compared to commercial domestic varieties.

Go look for seeds when the plants are in that stage. Take some kind of container, and gather seeds. You can probably just take a small jar or some such. Then just grab the grass or plant you want and shake it over the jar. Seeds pop in. Take them home and put them on some bare soil. Depending on the cycle of the plant, you should get plants next growing season.

The goal with seeds is to get only the types you are interested in. If a plant is attractive, get some seeds. That way you can avoid getting things you don't want. For example, I find scotch thistle attractive, but don't really want it in a by-the-house type garden. Not pleasant to walk on the needles.

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You may be able to transplant some types. Grass probably tolerates this. Some others will also. Once you have it home you can encourage it to spread where you want it.

When transplanting you want to try to dig down below the roots, or most of them, and get the full plant. Prepare a comparably deep hole in your garden so the included soil is even. Repair the hole you make when collecting.

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  • Thank you :). The house will actually have a nearby patch of wild greenery that belongs to us but may not be touched (environmental protection rules to offset the ground we sealed off by putting a house there), so that may be a nice spot to check too. And yes, I am indeed looking for low maintenance, pretty, and local, making both me and the pollinators happy!
    – Layna
    May 10, 2023 at 21:21

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