Top 10 ways to shoot your prairie planting in the foot

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!!! 🙂

Porky Pig

3 thoughts on “Top 10 ways to shoot your prairie planting in the foot

  1. dear porky, this is why we love ms candi, besides the fact that she save yo life! good stuff, thanks. ryan “dugas” and i needed to hear this. i wish to contract with you to assess my sad attempt at a prairie restoration on another level i wish to have ;you out to visit jake and steve’s prairie in front of Hamilton hall on campus, i have to tell you how alive it was with color and wildlife all spring and summer! peace and love jim Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 11:04:08 +0000 To:

    • Professor Possum! Don’t fix it if it ain’t broke. if you like what you see, stay the course. But I’d like to see them anyway.

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