Planting landfills with native grasses and wildflowers as vegetative cover on closed landfills creates durable cover, and makes friends with neighbors, including regulators and other stakeholders. This approach works hand-in-glove with desires to realize new uses and benefits for these mounded landscape features.

We describe here the benefits of using natives for closed landfill vegetation. We also address some of the common worries.

Go Native on Your Closed Landfill – A Cost-Effective Choice

  • Many native species are adapted to persist in tough conditions such as drought, flood, heat, heavy rains.
  • Natives are not fussy about soil quality. In fact, many natives actually prefer “poor” soil—making them a natural fit for closed landfills and eliminating the need to add lots of expensive topsoil.
  • Natives don’t penetrate the landfill cap—they are safe choices!
  • Burning is not required for maintenance although it has been shown to be a safe choice for closed landfills when conducted by experts such as the RES ecological restoration crews.

Natives Know How to Handle Change!

Natives are adapted to adapt. True natives are wild type. This means that they carry a lot of wild genetic variation in their seeds. In turn, this means that they can handle wet spots, dry spots, heat waves, strong wind…and more. This translates to maintaining cover in areas that are notoriously hard to keep vegetated, like closed landfills.

Natives Are a Proven Safe Choice for Landfills

Our work on over 80 landfills has succeeded in designing the right approach, right planting mixes and planting strategies for operating on very steep slopes, and working around landfill infrastructure such as gas-injection wells, and much more. We can help you choose the right mixture of natives that will quickly vegetate slopes and hold soil in place…and do that without compromising the cap. Research on closed landfills with native plants has proven that there is no need to fear penetration of the cap. Plants are “smart.” Their roots find the path of least resistance and naturally avoid inhospitable, anaerobic (no oxygen) conditions like those existing within the cap. Roots don’t cause cracks in the cap; neither will they tend to penetrate the cap in the absence of cracks.

A Closed Landfill…of a Beautiful Wildflower Meadow? You Choose!

Natives provide unparalleled diversity and beauty throughout the year.

Standard DOT mixes of short-lived cool season grasses and invasive legumes like crown vetch cannot compete with the color, texture, variety, and habitat that a native landscape provides. Our client services staff will help you choose the best species for your site from literally hundreds of native species.

Think of it as a palette from which we help you paint a picture for your community. And there is an added benefit as native plants serve as food and shelter for the “flying flowers” (birds and butterflies) the public loves.

Not all Native Seeds and Plants Are Created Equal

Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries knows this better than anyone. We use true wild types and local genotypes to give your project the best chance of success. In addition, we create customized seed selections, based on our experience with other landfills and informed by your site-specific conditions. Our RES team of scientists, planners, engineers, and specialists with Taylor Creek Restoration Nurseries, working in concert to deliver cost savings and one-stop shopping for the talent you need, for your project’s success.

Building a Legacy for the Future

The seeds you sow create what the public sees and enjoys for years to come. When you go native, you are creating a community asset that will last for generations.

Call us today at (608) 897-8641. Or send us an email at

We look forward to getting you started on a plan for transforming your landfill.