Native vegetation is an important tool to utilize along your shoreline. There are numerous benefits native vegetation provides that lawn turf grass is not able to support. Native vegetation is tolerant to many different soil types, saturation levels, and sunlight availability. Not to mention there is a wide diversity of plants!
Lawn turf grass typically has very shallow root systems, needs constant maintenance, and does not provide much value to wildlife for habitat. Native vegetation on the other hand has deep root systems which increase soil stability and water infiltration. This helps with decreasing erosion and runoff and filtering out any pollutants or contaminates that may be present. As a result, water quality improves and habitat is created for wildlife! All of these factors are important in providing a healthy shoreline for your property.
Native vegetation is often viewed as weeds, and the time commitment to establish and maintain the plants may seem overwhelming. While there is some effort required to establish and maintain native vegetation, the ecological and economical benefits far out weigh the effort that it takes. Once native vegetation is established, for the most part the plants take care of themselves. Most maintenance usually involves controlling weeds that may be present.
The lake’s ecosystem can be restored to a more natural state due to native shorelines, and humans are able to still enjoy the recreational activities that drew them to the lake in the first place. This balance is referred to as lakescaping.
Want to Learn More About Native Vegetation?
Below are resources about native vegetation establishment, maintenance, planting dates, native vegetation guidance on lakeshores, plant lists, and where to purchase native vegetation.
University of Minnesota Resources
Native Plant Seed Mixes
Below are examples of different seed mixes categorized into different groups. The seed mixes are designed and created to help out with different practices and goals for your property. The Erosion Control & Stabilization mixes will help out with erosion and runoff issues, especially along bluff and steep slopes. Stormwater and Retention mixes are great to use for practices such as raingardens and stormwater basins. Lastly, the Shoreline and Buffer mixes can be used along shorelines for bank stabilization and create native buffers.
Stormwater and Water Retention Mixes
Shoreline and Buffer Mixes
- BWSR Low Diversity Buffer Mix
- BWSR Native Forage South & West Buffer Mix
- BWSR Mid Diversity Moist South & West Buffer Mix
- Minnesota Native Landscapes Lakeshore Mix
- Prairie Moon Nursery Tall Sedge Meadow Mix
- Prairie Moon Nursery Short Sedge Meadow Mix
- Prairie Restorations Inc Shoreline Wildflower Mix
- Shooting Star Native Seeds Filter Strip Mix