Tom's Blog

Friday, February 10, 2012

More roadside planting

Yesterday we planted a long cleared strip along the east end of the road cut of County Highway F. This was the final part of County F that had been cleared by the PVC Crew in Sept-Dec 2011.

Since this is north-facing and essentially oak woodlands, the seeds were a mixture of woods and savanna species, things like woodland thimbleweed, golden Alexanders, and shade-loving goldenrods and asters. Separately, we planted grasses that do better in shady areas (C3 grasses): bottlebrush, silky rye, riverbank rye, and woodland brome. Although the main seed mix was planted more or less uniformly along the road cut, the grasses were planted in patches or swaths.

Even though the south-facing hill is completely snow-free, this north-facing area still had lots of snow. This made it easy to see where we had already planted, because of our footsteps and the seeds themselves visible on the snow. However, the snow was a hard crust, so footing was rather uncertain. You could walk on top until you suddenly sank down a foot or so. A light-weight person can do a better job under these conditions.

Although the road cut had not been burned, we felt it all right to plant now because the extensive clearing that we had done really opened up the site, so the seeds (once the snow melts) will find their way down to the soil.

We won't be burning the north woods until November 2012 so the seeds should have a good chance to get established.


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