Pretty Darn Quick (PDQ) Seed Mix

$25.00 - $660.00

500 sq ft
1000 sq ft
1/8 acre
1/4 acre
1/2 acre
1 Acre

for Medium-Wet to Medium-Dry Soils & Full to Partial Sun
This top-selling mix includes "pretty-darn-quick"-to-establish prairie flowers and grasses to provide more immediate color and a naturalized look.  For full-sun to partial-shade sites with medium soils.  The maximum height of any grass or flower included here is no more than 4-5 feet, with most species at 3 feet. Although some of the native plants in this seed mix have ranges that extend beyond zones 3-7,  the majority will do best in this zone range.  For more detailed information please see the RANGE MAP for each species.  View the complete species list, including % by weight, under COMPONENTS.
If planted in the fall or early spring, most of the plants in the "PDQ" mix will establish in the first year. Some blooms can be expected in year one but this should not stop you from mowing that season. Clipping or cutting will not harm the plants and blooms should be profuse in the second and third years. Read more...

Customer praise for PDQ:
“When I converted our hayfield into a prairie scape, I planted the PDQ mix and was rewarded with beautiful flowers, by the 2nd year. Gaining confidence since then, I’ve become even more creative by adding other seed mixes and enhancements. PDQ contains an excellent mix for establishing a hardy and colorful prairie garden.” - Laura S., La Crosse, WI
“The PDQ seed mix worked great and grows beautifully in the 2-3 year time-frame. I planted it in December and mowed several times during the next summer. Last summer the flowers were spectacular, especially the Black-eyed Susan, Hyssop and Beardtongue.” - Sue R., Rochester, MN

For seed mixes of 1/8 acre or less, we include a temporary cover crop at no additional charge.  ReGreen is a sterile, short-lived perennial wheat hybrid that can be planted spring or fall. 

Add a Seed Mix Enhancement for that extra splash of color!

Establishing a native plant community from seed can take 3 years or more - learn more

All mixes are subject to change without notice depending on availability of species.

Pretty Darn Quick (PDQ)© Seed Mix

by Prairie Moon® Nursery

11.14 lbs per acre | 167 Seeds per sq/ft



Botanical Name (Common Name)

% by wt.

Agastache foeniculum (Anise Hyssop)


Allium stellatum (Prairie Onion)


Asclepias incarnata (Rose Milkweed)


Astragalus canadensis (Canada Milk Vetch)


Bidens polylepis (Bearded Beggarticks)


Chamaecrista fasciculata (Partridge Pea)


Coreopsis lanceolata (Lance-leaf Coreopsis)


Crotalaria sagittalis (Rattlebox)


Dalea candida (White Prairie Clover)


Dalea purpurea (Purple Prairie Clover)


Drymocallis arguta (Prairie Cinquefoil)


Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)


Eryngium yuccifolium (Rattlesnake Master)


Helenium autumnale (Sneezeweed)


Heliopsis helianthoides (Early Sunflower)


Liatris aspera (Button Blazing Star)


Lobelia siphilitica (Great Blue Lobelia)


Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)


Oligoneuron rigidum (Stiff Goldenrod)


Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue)


Pycnanthemum virginianum (Mountain Mint)


Ratibida pinnata (Yellow Coneflower)


Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)


Rudbeckia triloba (Brown-eyed Susan)


Symphyotrichum laeve (Smooth Blue Aster)


Verbena hastata (Blue Vervain)


Verbena stricta (Hoary Vervain)


Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders)



55.68 %


Botanical Name (Common Name)

% by wt.

Bouteloua curtipendula (Side-oats Grama)


Carex brevior (Plains Oval Sedge)


Carex vulpinoidea (Brown Fox Sedge)


Elymus canadensis (Canada Wild Rye)


Juncus dudleyi (Dudley's Rush)


Schizachyrium scoparium (Little Bluestem)



44.32 %


Last updated 8/16/23

14 Questions asked on Pretty Darn Quick (PDQ) Seed Mix

What is the average height of this planting?
The two primary grasses in this mix (Little Blue and Side-oats) will top out, when mature, and at the end of summer, around 3 feet. The flowers of a couple species will top out at 5 feet, again when mature, and in full bloom. The height of any prairie planting will also be dependent on the conditions it’s planted in; mixes grown in drier conditions will be shorter than those in richer soils. Surrounding competition, and maturity of the plants will also play a role.
Can I plant your seed mixes if I have an area that is less than 500 sq. feet? Is it possible to use only half of the seeds in the pack?
Yes! Our pre-designed seed mixes have a very high seed count (nearly 200 seeds per sq ft on this mix), so seeding a 500 sq ft mix over a 250 sq ft area would be a lot of seed! Keep the unused seed for a future planting. Native seed can remain viable for a long time if stored, sealed, under cool, dry, constant conditions; likely in your home, rather than in a garage or shed.
After planting can seeds be covered with straw to prevent birds from eating them?
Thanks for writing, Dorota. For spring seedings, we advise lightly raking the mix’s larger seeds into the soil and then surface-sowing the small seeds. We intentionally use high seeding rates for our mixes to allow for some loss due to predation or erosion. Our experience is that birds seldom locate enough of the seed to have a great impact. Using a light straw mulch could help to hide seed and lessen the impact of heavy rains but be careful not to mulch so heavily that light cannot reach the soil.
how contained would a 500ft2 lot be. We have adjoining formal beds.
As plants reach maturity, some species may spread by seeds or underground rhizomes. I would recommend a mowed border or some other kind of maintained border to keep your prairie planting in-check.
I have a partial sun area (about 1/4 acre) and am having trouble deciding between the PDQ mix and the Pollinator Palooza mix. Could you mix these two seed mixes together and try to get the best of both worlds?
Hi Tyler. Of course! We often suggest customers do just that. Many sites have soil moisture variation or sun exposure differences. If you do have shade more in one area of the 1/4 acre, you might consider the Shortgrass Savanna seed mix?
I see the zones for this seed mix are 3 - 7 Do you think many can survive southern Carolinas which is a zone 8
HI Bull. Yes, I think the majority of the species in the mix are/were native to your area and/or will do just fine in Zone 8 (as natives can grow outside their native range). We do have native range maps loaded on each species page if you are curious on the individual species.

Most importantly is site prep! Right now you should be working on removing the existing weeds and weed seed bank. Plant after a frost - would that be Nov-Dec for you? Mow all of next year to suppress weeds and encourage root development of the new natives.

Hello! Will any of the flowers bloom the first year? I live in zone 5 - eastern US and I would like to plant these in a large ditch across from my house. The ditch does retain some water after heavy rains. There are already a few plants present, not sure what kind, but very few flowering plants. Any suggestions for flowers that will bloom the first year they are planted?
Hi Jess, This mix contains mostly perennial (long-lived) plants which mature and bloom in 2-4 years. There are a few species that may bloom during the first and second year, but to establish a prairie planting like this you will want to keep the area mowed for the entire first growing season. Some flowers like Partridge Pea and Black-eyed Susans can bloom once they’re mowed down, but we usually don’t recommend adding in a lot of annuals because of the first year maintenance mowing. Establishing a mix like this is a long-term process, and it will take patience and a little faith! There’s a great photo series at the end of this Site Prep blog that show you what to expect during the first 4 years.
Good day! I've recently seeded (about 3 weeks ago) this seed mix over my septic bed (hill), and am wondering when I should start to expect germination? My biggest worries are erosion (because it's a bare soil hill at the moment) and predation by birds. Juncos are just loving to forage the hill at the moment and it's causing a headache. Would seeding something quicker such as (gasp) grass or clover help divert predation and reduce erosion? Thanks for the help!
Hi Matt, There’s this cliché saying about prairie plantings that’s so true:

First year, the prairie sleeps. The second year, the prairie creeps. And the third year, the prairie leaps!

Perennial plants take time to germinate. Things won’t start to pop until your soil temperatures are consistently in the 60s for a few weeks, and then you’ll see staggered germination throughout the summer. And, when they do emerge, they will be slow-growing. Keep in mind these are wild plants – they will not behave like turf lawn, annual vegetable seeds or non-native horticultural plants like tulips and daffodils that you may see popping up right away in the early spring landscape. You can expect it to take a few months before things fill in to the bare soil.

The first year is often a hard year because you’ve spent so much time already on site prep, sowing the seed, and then it really doesn’t look like much that first growing season! We totally understand, butbencourage you to have patience! It’s all a very normal part of the process of establishing a perennial, native prairie planting like this.

It will take 3+ years for your site to look like the photos online, and the first year it’ll just look like weedy, patchy lawn because you should be mowing it consistently the first year. The second year you’ll see a few wildflowers bloom, and then the third year it’ll really take off.

As mentioned above, it’s really important to keep up on your first year maintenance mowing. You’ll need to keep things short so sunlight can keep hitting the soil surface and feeding those slow-growing, little seedlings. It will also help prevent any fast-growing weeds still on site from stealing all the sunlight, flowering, and setting more weed seed. Mow the site to 4-5 inches whenever the vegetation reaches 6-8 inches tall.

Your seed mix should have included a fast-growing cover crop if your mix was 1/8th acre or less. I would NOT recommend seeding fast or aggressive grasses or clovers; those will compete with your native seedlings too much.

Good luck and keep in touch!

Hi, how would you seed and maintain a steep slope? Mowing would be very difficult due to the steepness and something needs to be established quickly to prevent erosion.
Hi David, I recommend giving us a call at 507-452-1362! There is a lot to consider and many options depending on the site conditions and your plan for planting. You may be interested in checking out our cover crops if the site needs cover now.
Do your mixes come with grass seed in a package separate from the wildflower seeds or are they all packaged together?
Hi Tony, Our mixes are packed with large and small seeds separate, but there are grass and wildflower seeds in both categories (see image in the photo gallery). The cover crop (if included, with 1/8 acre or smaller mixes) would be packaged separately also.
Will this grow in clay type soil?
Hello Stephen, while the PDQ is not designed specifically for clay soils like our Tallgrass Exposed Clay Subsoil mix is, it should be able to do well in the clay. The only concern would be if it was a low-lying area that stayed soggy most of the time or, on the other hand, an area that was very dry most of the time.
Hi, getting ready for our first fall planting of pdq and shortgrass savanna mix. Converting our green grass to meadow/prairie! We have removed the sod and currently have bare ground on our site. We live in Wheaton IL. Plan to plan when temps are consistently colder. Was going to roto till before planting. Is this correct? Also, there is a maple tree with leaves in the area - should we plant before the leaves fall or after the leaves fall? Should we clear off the leaves on the site before planting? Concerned the leaves will impact growth of the native seeds? Thank you!
I recommend you do not till before seeding. It is best to seed on a nice firm bed of soil, and tilling can often dredge up new weed seeds from the seed bank. It is probably best if you can clear off at least the majority of leaves before planting. The seeds must make good contact with the soil, and though scattered leaves won’t cause a problem, a thick layer of leaves over the seed could cause a problem for the germination of some species.
Does this mix need to overwinter or can we plant in June?
Hi Karen. At this point in the year, we recommend waiting to sow the PDQ seed mix in the fall. Over half of the species included need to overwinter in order to germinate, and it has been such a tough spring for starting from seed.
We planted last year and this year the area looks like a field of black-eyed Susan’s. I notice a few other plants here and there, but not a ton. Is this normal for year 2 or was it something we did? We are looking to do another area and just want to make sure we are planting correctly.
Sounds like your native planting is right on track, Laura! The quick-blooming Black-Eyed Susans are a reliable species throughout the "pioneer flush." They may look overwhelming at this stage, but the other plants are in there, growing according to their own timelines. You should see the full diversity of your seed mix flower over the next few years, and as those species become more mature, the population of Black-Eyed Susans will decrease.

Native plant communities provide the inspiration for our seed-mix designs. All our mixes feature high seeding rates and a diverse balance of native species, which, when mature, will provide blossoms throughout the year. No matter what you want from a seed mix, you will need to make sure it fits the soil-moisture holding capacity and sun conditions of your site.

E stablishment of the diverse native-plant communities represented in our seed mixes can take three to five years. The most critical process before planting is preparing the site by removing unwanted species and working to deplete the soil’s weed seed bank. Find detailed site prep, planting and care instructions for our seed mixes through the following links:



*PLEASE NOTE: we are a mail order nursery and have no retail facilities, but you may pick up your order if prior arrangements are made. Pick up orders are subject to **MN Sales Tax.

Shipping & Handling Charges

SEED $100.00 and under: $5.00
Retail SEED orders over $100.00 ship free!

Custom seed mixes or discounted seed sales over $100, add 5% of the total seed cost
(for orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required)

BARE ROOT and POTTED PLANTS $50.00 and under: $9.00
over $50.00: 18% of the total plant cost. (For orders over $1,000 a package signature may be required.)

TOOLS and BOOKS have the shipping fee included in the cost of the product (within the contiguous US).

**We are required to collect state sales tax in certain states. Your state's eligibility and % will be calculated at checkout. MN State Sales Tax of 7.375% is applied for orders picked up at our MN location. Shipping & handling charges are also subject to the sales tax.

Shipping Season

SEED, TOOLS and BOOKS are sent year-round. Most orders ship within 1-3 business days.

BARE ROOT PLANTS are shipped during optimal transplanting time: Spring (April-May) and Fall (Oct). Some ephemeral species are also available for summer shipping. Since our plants are field-grown, Nature sets the schedule each year as to when our season will begin and end. We fill all orders, on a first-come, first-serve basis, to the best of our ability depending on weather conditions beyond our control.

POTTED PLANTS (Trays of 32/38/50 plugs and 3-packs) typically begin shipping early May and go into June; shipping time is heavily dependent on all the species in your order being well-rooted. If winter-spring greenhouse growing conditions are favorable and all species are well-rooted at once, then we ship by order date (first come, first serve). We are a Midwest greenhouse, and due to the challenges of getting all the species in the Mix & Match and Pre-Designed Garden Kits transit-ready at the same time, we typically can't ship before early May. Earlier shipment requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*We are unable to ship PLANTS (bare root or potted) outside the contiguous US or to CALIFORNIA due to regulations.


We ship using USPS, UPS and Spee Dee. UPS and Spee Dee are often used for expediting plant orders; they will not deliver to Post Office Box numbers, so please also include your street address if ordering plants. We send tracking numbers to your email address so please include it when you order.



Sun Exposure
Full, Partial
Soil Moisture
Medium-Wet, Medium, Medium-Dry
Pollinator Favorite: butterflies, moths, bees, wasps, beetles
USDA Zones
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