Our Native Grasslands--Pepperwood 4/7/12

Without understanding any of it very well, I've heard for years that our state has been transformed by the spread of foreign annual grasses; some by accident, others by design of forestry or agricultural people. Last weekend our crew worked on a patch of carefully cultivated native perineal clump grasses in front of their fine new headquarters. These were started a year ago from seed, and now cover about 5000 sq. feet with 1 gallon sized healthy clumps.

Unfortunately, these dormant clumps were densely surrounded by a matt of earlier growing species: mainly clovers, some annual grasses. We set about weeding these out with hoes and pickmattox. What was projected to be a warmup for other projects took the crew of about 12 our entire morning.

As an old gardnener, I love this sort of thing.... it's much of what you do to grow your pampered flowers and veggies in the real world 'o weeds. Still, it did seem strange to be doing it in a restoration project. Looking up from my work occasionally to the oceans of grass around us, I couldn't help wonder why we bothered. At one point, I impishly suggested a broadleaf herbicide; knowing of course that such methods are not acceptable.

Happily, I'm not involved in the slightest in choosing projects; I'm just there because the company is congenial and I love to work. I do hope that more people find their way to involvement. I can afford to share the joys; there's little risk we'll ever finish the job.

Posted by icosahedron icosahedron, April 12, 2012 15:29


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