Thursday Thirteen: Native Grasses

thursdaythirteengreen

I’ve been researching grasses for our yard. As the snow has melted and we’ve begun exploring and cleaning our yard, I’ve been sad to discover so much disease and decay. We had planned to watch the property for a year to get an idea of the growth cycle, and its strengths and weaknesses, before we made any changes, major or minor. Waiting may not be an option, because I don’t want the diseased materials to continue to decay and spread their diseases to other plants.

I’ve also discovered that there are many dangerous old tools, car and tractor parts, and torn and rusted chemical cans hidden under all of the heavy and matted old grasses. Zuva has injured herself a couple of times now, as she has a tendency to hurtle herself headlong through anything in her pursuit of mice. I’m very sad she has been hurt, but it has alerted me to the dangers and I’ve been scouring the land, when I can be out without my “helpers”.

Because of the many hidden dangers and the disease, I’ve decided to clean out the layers of vegetative decay under the trees and replant some native plants and grasses (Wubby is thrilled because we will be pruning much more than originally planned.) I still have some more research to do, because I’m not sure if I should give the land a year of exposure to the elements free of any covering before I begin planting again. I guess it’s kind of like knowing when to cover a wound with a bandage or leave it exposed to the air. I’m sure there are excellent reasons for both choices, so my research will continue.

In the meantime, here are some of the grasses I’ve found that are/appear to be indigenous to our area:

  1. Big or little bluestem
  2. Alpine, Canada, or fowl bluegrass
  3. Alpine fescue
  4. Side-oats or blue grama
  5. Panic grass
  6. Prairie June grass
  7. Rough or tufted hair grass
  8. Switch grass
  9. Canada wild rye
  10. Indian grass
  11. Drop seed
  12. Porcupine grass
  13. Spear or needle grass

Here are a few interesting links that I’ve found. They’ve actually created more questions in my mind than answers. Usually that’s a good thing, but it can be time consuming. The one question I’m seeking an answer to now is why is it necessary to create new cultivars to “revegetate” disturbed lands, when there are clearly sources for natural seed of native or indigenous plants? I’d love to hear the thoughts of others.

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~ by byrningbunny on May 1, 2008.

One Response to “Thursday Thirteen: Native Grasses”

  1. I love how the eye jumps from the contrasted structures to the subtle colours of the rainbow. Beautiful photograph!

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