February 2019

Already the second month of the year and I’m thinking about the next 12 months. I have been thinking a lot lately about breaking up the pocket prairie and moving the plants around the yard to be used as landscaping. I want them in appropriate areas and not just concentrated in one rectangle. Of course we have natives in other places, I just want to expand on the idea of natives as landscaping plants. At the same time, I am looking at jobs around the Western United States and wondering what would look as nice to a future buyer. I’m not sure we will move but it’s a distinct possibility in a couple of years.

I’m also thinking about how I can propagate what I’ve already got to expand my resources. During the fall semester I also collected a few new things and I’m trying to propagate them in my raised beds that we originally put in for vegetables but with school and work have become neglected. I’m hoping Little bluestem, Splitbeard Bluestem and Dogbane take hold and that I’ll be able to redistribute them elsewhere. I also collected Compass Plant seeds that I’m thinking about starting but I’m not sure where or how. I am pretty sure those won’t want to be moved if I start them in the ground somewhere protected. I’m also wondering after 2 listen-thus of A Sand County Almanac, how long it will take for them to bloom after they germinate. I’m afraid it will be after we are gone if we move. That would break my heart.

I’m also thinking about cutting back and trying to remove the maximillion sunflower from the pocket prairie. I’ve got it else where in the yard but it’s too much in the PP. Last summer was the 2nd year and the main plant was as big as my wrist at the base (several stems each that big) and leaned all the way out into the road. There were also numerous babies from seed and maybe from rhizomes (Im not sure) all around. I pulled a lot that were within a couple of feet of the edge and I think I’ll be pulling a bunch up until they are gone… Those that I’ve got planted in the other spot will be trimmed back 2 times this year like the goldenrod and I’ll assess how that looks and works.

I also have several seed packets for new plants that I’m not sure what I want to do with since I’m thinking of moving things. I’ll probably just throw them into the PP and let them do their thing after I dig up some of the tall grasses. I really want to establish some native milkweeds.

What have you got going on with natives right now? Any large or small projects, things got you thinking? I’d love to know about it, leave a comment! JD