Saturday, August 23, 2008

We swaddle the newly constructed Wet Meadow in Coir

It was a long week in Fern Valley. The contractors are essentially finished working in the Prairie Meadow area. They left us quite a large area of bare soil that we addressed as soon as they left. We seeded the entire area with oats for cover and overseeded the low areas with a wetland mix. Species in the mix include: Swamp Sunflower, Swamp Milkweed, Sensitive Fern, Mallow, Bushy Seedbox, Sneezeweed, and half a dozen others. The upper basin, visible in the background, actually had a bit of water in it complete with a frog and tadpoles.

We used a different mix on the areas at the top that will stay drier. As we sowed the seeds we laid the coir matting. Coir is coconut fiber, I had never used it before, but I like it. It has far more structural integrity than jute, though it is less flexible.Then we watered; we are getting good at watering seeds as we have been watering seeded edges to both the Flowering Tree Walk and its extension in the Fern Valley Meadow.

The fun part was planting plugs of sedges, and small plants of Verbena hastata, Blue Vervain. The Verbena was grown from seed that we collected in Pennsylvania two years ago. It was flowering so if all goes well it will seed throughout the basin later this year. We have three flats of Rice Cutgrass to plant next week and more oats to plant along the regraded margins of the new trail. Its all going to be great next year!

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