While driving home from the Green Council lecture last night in New Orleans, my wife Candi said I should write something on how to totally screw up a prairie planting. …so here goes….
10. Don’t let the seed bank and bud bank grow out in order to identify problematic species before you plant.
9. Once problem weeds are identified, don’t use the necessary tilling, solarizing or herbicides and the necessary time to fully and completely remove them.
8. Skip numbers nine and ten and just till and plant seed into a really lush stand of Torpedo and Johnson grass and wait to see what happens. (ouch! …feel the burn!…)
7. Buy seed from the dry, half-desert areas of Texas/ buy seed from Gulf Coastal area of Iowa because its cheap and because our long humid and wet summers and long cool and wet winters wont be a problem at all.
6. Don’t use grasses
5. Mow your new prairie occasionally down to the dirt in the middle of summer to “make it look ‘real nice'”.
4. use only four species of prairie plant seed to “keep it simple”.
3. After the prairie meadow is establishing, don’t manage-out the Tallow trees and the Chinese Privet because they are native prairie trees and won’t shade out the herbs too much.
2. After a year or two, don’t get a good prairie ecologist over to assess the prairie’s status and identify species so you know what you have (or have not) succeeded with, and to, boots-on-the-ground, guide you toward the best management strategy.
and #1! After not getting a status and ID consult, mow and till and plant bermuda grass because the prairie meadow wasn’t, in your eyes, “‘real nice’, and perfect”. duh
As Porky Pig would say, Th-Th-That’s all folks!!! 🙂