Whew!! It’s been 2 years of preparing and planning but the last 12 acres were finally planted on Dec 13, 2014!! This is our third and last planting for the Driftless Prairies! We had hoped this one would go smoothly since the other two did not, but our record remained and we had plenty of stress!
Two years ago we began the process of creating a maintenance path around the area we would plant to prairie. With this, we ended up with space between the path and the adjacent wooded areas. We also had some neighboring land that we were allowed to remove invasives beyond our property line. We planted all this area before the actual day of the prairie planting. Since edge management is what we spend a good deal of time on, this will certainly help to expand this area and create fewer problems with the encroachment of invasive plants.
We planted a total of 144 species throughout. We’ll be mowing it a couple of times next year and if the foxtails come in as they have with the other plantings, we’ll be able to burn in the 2nd year. By the 3rd year, we hope to see more of the plants pop up and fewer weeds.
Our goal, with the restoration of this property is diversity. Everything we do is about diversity. Having a diverse assortment of native plants, native trees, and native bushes brings with it a diversity of animals, birds, and insects. The key word in that sentence is “native.” A diversity of non-native, invasive plants decreases the diversity of all other life because our native vertebrates and invertebrates haven’t evolved to use those plants.
To read more about the planning process and see pictures on the actual day of the planting click here.
Many thanks and appreciation to the many people who helped with this planting. Not just the day of the planting, but the years that led up to that event!!