Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening  

Go Back   Wildlife Gardeners - North American Wildlife Gardening > Wildlife Gardeners of North America Unite > Habitat

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-28-2015, 02:07 AM   #41
Fox
 
NEWisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
With the thread on cold moist stratification, I've been thinking about my native meadow project. As I mentioned there, I will winter sow some in pots as usual, but I also want to direct sow the seeds I've collected and mixed together to create my own (mostly ) locally native mix. My problem is that I didn't smother enough lawn--then again, I may not have enough seed. I do plan to order some grass, sedge, and rush seed from Ernst Seed (a Pennsylvania company and that has quite a few PA ecotype seeds) to add to my mix.

Now for my question:

I have a source for some more cardboard, and I am wondering if I can put it down in areas I've yet to smother, get a load of old, mostly decomposed woodchips to place on top, and then plant my seeds on that? Would roots be able to grow down through the layers of (moist) cardboard while the grass and weeds will be unable to penetrate it from below?

Any thoughts?

Quote:
Would roots be able to grow down through the layers of (moist) cardboard while the grass and weeds will be unable to penetrate it from below?
I don't know the answer to this question, but I do think that the grass and weeds being unable to penetrate is the most important outcome.

I've been bouncing your question around in the back of my mind for a few days and here's some thoughts.

1. Putting the cardboard down and covering it with decomposed wood chips is a win no matter what follows. If you sow some seeds in it and they grow that would be ideal, but even if they don't grow you would still have an area that would be great for fall sowing some seed.

2. Look at the material that you cover the cardboard with as a flat compost pile. The wood chips are browns so add an appropriate amount of greens to result in good compost. If you sow seeds this spring compost will give them a better chance of succeeding than just wood chips. If your seeds don't succeed the compost will still be better for the fall sowing.

3. Adding some soil to the material(s) on top of the cardboard would be a big help in introducing the beneficial soil microbes, but I see your point about not wanting to introduce weed seed. So after the weather warms up take a look at making some compost tea and spraying it on top. It's relatively easy to make and it will introduce most of the beneficial soil microbes without introducing any weed seeds.
__________________
.
Age is a biological fact.
Old is a state of mind.
I will age, but I refuse to get old.
NEWisc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2015, 08:15 AM   #42
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by NEWisc View Post
I don't know the answer to this question, but I do think that the grass and weeds being unable to penetrate is the most important outcome.

I've been bouncing your question around in the back of my mind for a few days and here's some thoughts.

1. Putting the cardboard down and covering it with decomposed wood chips is a win no matter what follows. If you sow some seeds in it and they grow that would be ideal, but even if they don't grow you would still have an area that would be great for fall sowing some seed.

2. Look at the material that you cover the cardboard with as a flat compost pile. The wood chips are browns so add an appropriate amount of greens to result in good compost. If you sow seeds this spring compost will give them a better chance of succeeding than just wood chips. If your seeds don't succeed the compost will still be better for the fall sowing.

3. Adding some soil to the material(s) on top of the cardboard would be a big help in introducing the beneficial soil microbes, but I see your point about not wanting to introduce weed seed. So after the weather warms up take a look at making some compost tea and spraying it on top. It's relatively easy to make and it will introduce most of the beneficial soil microbes without introducing any weed seeds.
NEWisc, thank you for all of the thought you put into this and the detailed response.

You make valid points...and I *know* you are right about smothering making things ready for a fall planting--just had another thought--I am just having a hard time dealing with the idea of the seeds I've collected failing because of the cardboard layer. However, I already did plan to sow *some* of the same seeds in pots as I have been doing, so it won't be a total loss. Now for that thought that just occurred to me: if the seeds planted on the mulch don't make it, I can still add those plants that were grown in pots into the bed in the fall. Part of me feels that sowing on top should succeed, but having a backup plan helps ease my mind. I'd still hate to lose all of those potential plants, but if it works, I'll have a methos to use in the coming years which should speed things along.

I have ProMix that I've used over the past several years for starting my seeds in pots. The label states (with mycorrhizae)--I was planning to mix some ProMix with the seed and/or cover it with a thin layer...do you think that would help?
I'll have to look into how to make the compost tea. I know there are threads on it here on WG.

Thanks again for helping me brainstorm this.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2015, 08:32 AM   #43
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rockerBOO View Post
They can sprout where little to no exposed soil is available or practical. Trying it in the old lawn > meadow transition where I am not removing the lawn grass, so little exposed soil is there.
I see. So the clay/soil component both helps to smother what is below it and provide a medium for the germinating plant to take root.

Because I am trying to prepare the area (some areas were smothered for a full season, but most were not), I am not sure if that method will be best In this situation...or maybe I am being lazy.

Thank you for the explanation.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-28-2015, 01:42 PM   #44
Heron
 
rockerBOO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Lower Pioneer Valley
Default

Which situations it fits into depends on how successful it is in those areas. Might be good to make a batch, and put them in different spots and different application processes (throwing, pushing into the ground). Then mark them with something so you can see how successful it had been in those areas.

I am just trying it this year to see how it goes, but it seems like it'd work in areas where the ground is covered. I have a front yard of wood chips and also a back yard that gets covered in various large tree leaves. This prevents a lot of germination but removing the leaves is not ideal. Setting the seed balls on the soil after the leaves fall I think will do the trick.

Also its more targeted growing and higher rate of return per seed. Cost of clay can be lessened if clay is available on site.

Some examples showing the progress and growth.

Bombs Away - A Geek In Glasses

https://reafforestation.files.wordpr...pg?w=384&h=256

https://chicopermaculture.files.word...ing.jpg?w=1008
__________________
Rebuilt Backyard - Photoblog of progress in my backyard.
Flickr Photo Group - Share your photos with us on Flickr
Ecogarden Design - Design your garden right in the browser
rockerBOO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2015, 03:24 AM   #45
Fox
 
NEWisc's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Wisconsin
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post
...
I have ProMix that I've used over the past several years for starting my seeds in pots. The label states (with mycorrhizae)--I was planning to mix some ProMix with the seed and/or cover it with a thin layer...do you think that would help?
I'll have to look into how to make the compost tea. I know there are threads on it here on WG.

Thanks again for helping me brainstorm this.
The ProMix would be a little help, but not that much. Commercial grower soilless mixes like ProMix are typically low on nutrients. They are not like the soilless mixes that you find at the big box stores where a 3 - 4 month supply of fertilizer and other nutrients have been added to the mix. For commercial grower mixes it is usually recommended that the grower begin a fertilization program after only two weeks of the plant being placed in the mix. Growers want it that way because they use different fertilizers and different application rates depending on the type of plant being fertilized and the intended use of the plant.

The mycorrhizal fungus will probably help, but it needs nutrients to work with.
__________________
.
Age is a biological fact.
Old is a state of mind.
I will age, but I refuse to get old.
NEWisc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2015, 09:06 AM   #46
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Thanks for the links, rockerBOO.

I can see the advantage of using it where you don't want to remove the leaves.

Now to check out your links.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-01-2015, 09:34 AM   #47
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

rockerBOO, I loved the pictures...especially in the dead of winter it is great to see germinating seedlings.

The idea is intriguing; at the same time, I'm not sure it is necessary or the best solution for an area that has been smothered and is without competition. It does make me consider adding clay and sand to the potting mix and seed mixture I plan to scatter on the nearly decayed mulch. I have still not decided. One concern is the the mulch will be pretty fertile, and while most of the species I am planting will do fine, I wonder about things that grow in more sterile soil.

Thanks again for all of the input and discussion. Keep it coming.
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2015, 04:49 PM   #48
WG Prize & Gift Coordinator
 
havalotta's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Michigan
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by dapjwy View Post

I have ProMix that I've used over the past several years for starting my seeds in pots. The label states (with mycorrhizae)--I was planning to mix some ProMix with the seed and/or cover it with a thin layer...do you think that would help?
I'll have to look into how to make the compost tea. I know there are threads on it here on WG.

.
Here you go lazy bones. Compost Tea in a Rain Barrel

Speaking of bones.....I didn't re-read the thread about compost tea so am unsure if it mentions boiling bones and adding it's liquid refreshments to the soil or not but I hear they are good for adding calcium.

The basics.... How to Brew Compost Tea: Organic Gardening
Adding bone-meal to the blend How To Make Bone Meal Tea - Toronto Master Gardeners
Quote:
For future reference, bone meal tea can be made by including bone meal in the production of compost tea. Add 1 tablespoon of bone meal for every gallon of compost tea to be produced.
__________________
The successful woman is the woman that had the chance and took it!

A walk among the elusive Whitetail Deer
havalotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-02-2015, 09:36 PM   #49
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by havalotta View Post
Here you go lazy bones. Compost Tea in a Rain Barrel

Speaking of bones.....I didn't re-read the thread about compost tea so am unsure if it mentions boiling bones and adding it's liquid refreshments to the soil or not but I hear they are good for adding calcium.

The basics.... How to Brew Compost Tea: Organic Gardening
Adding bone-meal to the blend How To Make Bone Meal Tea - Toronto Master Gardeners
Thanks for the links (if not for calling me "lazy bones"). ~smile~
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2015, 07:54 PM   #50
WG Hospitality & UAOKA recipient
 
dapjwy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Pennsylvania
Default

I posted this in another thread after jack requested picutes of the direct sowed sections. I'm pasting what I typed here as well to keep for my "records".

I remember linrose asking for updated photos (a long, long time ago). I took those pictures--several times, but never got them posted. If I don't find them, I'll have to take more (those pasted below are not from the same section...but the first ones are on the other side of the path opposite it.

The original section planted in the decayed woodchips alongside the road, we're only wildflower seeds I'd collected...I don't have any grass in that section (aside from one clump of northern sea oats I bought potted and added later). The little bluestem I added from those I sowed in pots didn't take. I'll try to get photos of that section tomorrow...although not much of a show this time of the year; it is best in fall.

Here is what I posted elsewhere:

Quote:
Originally Posted by jack View Post
Sounds like the plantings are coming along, Dap. Could you grace me with a few pictures? I'd love to see how it has been evolving...
Sure. Here are the latest pics...I just went out to take photos:

1.

I'd smothered a small swath along the path--not everything was smothered, so I ended up planting a shorter section than originally planned. I've got to get more cardboard to smother along side this section and incrementally increase the meadow each year.

2.

Close up of this section.

3.

This oddly shaped section is in the second acre (first photo above is path near the road not too far from the driveway). Over the years I've tried to smother the crownvetch that took over this section; years ago with just thick woodchips--it grew back; more recently with cardboard--only the planted section seems to be free of crownvetch.

I'd planned to try sparing alongside it, remove any roots, and try planting on spade area. It never happened. Looks like I'll just have to smother those sections and sow more seeds next year.

This is less than ideal, but I'd rather have the small section started than just cardboard.

4.

A close up of that section. It was planted 3 weeks to a month later than the first. Really late, but, luckily we've had a lot of rain this summer...and more again this week.
Attached Thumbnails
Planning an Eastern Meadow-2015-06-28-20.57.20.jpg  
__________________
"If suburbia were landscaped with meadows, prairies, thickets or forests, or combinations of these, then the water would sparkle, fish would be good to eat again, birds would sing and human spirits would soar." ~ Lorrie Otto
~ A Native Backyard Blog ~
dapjwy is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
eastern, meadow, planning

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:34 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Friendly URLs by vBSEO 3.3.2