Thursday, June 28, 2018

Preparation for the Prairie

Predominant grass in the field in June 2018
More than a month has passed since the last herbicidal treatment of the fields and more than an inch and a half of rain has fallen. The fields are changing from the dead brown we saw in May to a consistent green as grass seeds in the seed bed have germinated. We have been accustomed to having the fields empty in May and June when we have had harvests of wheat or hay. What has followed in midsummer has been an outburst of what I believe to be Digitaria bicornis (Asian Crabgrass –– which, despite its name, is a Texas native grass).

Apparently the same thing is occurring this summer. We anticipate one more herbicidal application later this summer to prepare the fields for the planting of native grasses sometime in September. For now, it is something of a relief to see some green in the fields, even though I know it is something that has to be eliminated in order for the prairie grasses, forbs, and wildflowers to have the best chance at surviving.

Fields in June 2018 after 1.6" of rain

We have continued to see a diversity of wildlife around here, including deer, gray foxes, armadillos, cottontails, raccoons, squirrels, dozens of species of birds, including Northern Bobwhite Quail and Wild Turkeys, many butterflies and moths, and a diversity of flora. 

Asian Crabgrass in a previous summer

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