Native Prairie Planting at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve
Feeling ready for spring wildflowers? Sycamore Land Trust’s new prairie planting at Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve is too!
Last month, with the help of Eco Logic LLC, Sycamore planted native wildflower and grass seeds to work into the soil during the freeze and thaw cycles over the remaining winter months. Many of these native wildflower and grass seeds need to go through a dormant freeze thaw period in order to germinate later this spring.
Brant from Eco Logic is pouring the larger, fluffier seed in the white bag into the large seed hopper with the agitating wheels which help it work through the planter. Those seeds are mostly the native grasses and milkweed.
What began in 2019 as a cover crop of buckwheat to keep out weeds and provide nectar for pollinators will soon become a blooming prairie planting filled with native wildflowers and grasses to attract birds, butterflies, bees, and other pollinators, who rely on Indiana’s dwindling prairies to thrive.
We will keep our fingers crossed that we get good germination this year. We won’t see a lot of top growth this first year from our native plants, they will focus on putting down good roots, but the future will be full of flowers.
This planting implement is a minimal disturbance, no-till drill. In one pass it creates a small slit or slot in the soil and drops seeds through tubes into the slot and then press wheels push the soil back over and firm it down. Thank you to Eco Logic for providing the technical assistance and the tractor and drill.
The darker and coarser seed in the small seed box is mostly the wildflowers/forbs. Although, the seeds are in different boxes due to their different sizes they will be planted together and at the same time.
A reminder that Amy Weingartner Branigin Peninsula Preserve remains closed on weekends to protect the land due to increased visitation as a result of the pandemic. If you visit, remember to come on a weekday!