Last weekend was BUSY! We had a special work day just for Stewards on Saturday and the regular public work day on Sunday.
Saturday was a lot of fun because we were able to spread wildflower seed on one of our plots. We have been successful with an area with native grasses by keeping non-natives at bay and natives alive (and self-seeding), so we went out to increase the native forb/wildflower seed bank to increase native species diversity. Our goal is to create a native grassland filled with forbs/wildflowers and native grass. Hopefully, with the coming rains the seeds will sprout and it will be a beautiful, colorful area.
Sunday we finished planting the 3 native grass species we are planting in the experimental plot marked by peach stakes. We will be running two observations from that area: which species does the best, ie, which has the highest survival rate, and what method, cleared or weedy, do the grasses do better in? One idea is that the non-native grass actually helps keep the native grasses that were recently planted alive. It might be because the non-native grass is able to keep more moisture near the ground, but that hasn’t been measured yet and we just don’t know. Part of the thrill and struggle of habitat restoration is not knowing everything and trying new methods out to try to find the best method to yield the highest success (whatever success may mean).
Now we wait for the rain…