The first planting

It’s been warm for November … more time for digging in the dirt!  Got the plants from High Country Gardens, so why wait til spring?

First up — find spots without native buffalo grass. (That grass is a definite keeper, so try to not disturb it.)

I found bare patches with only Bermuda grass or other non-natives like “cutleaf geranium” or “henbit” . . . or at least that’s what I think they are by using the most excellent reference book "Weeds of the South."

It’s always good to consult with others.

Pre-planting consultant, Sammie, seems to think this is a good spot.

Next, get the plants ready . . .

Blue Switch Grass (panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’) ready to shed its pot.

. . . and plunk ’em in the ground. I’ve learned that prairie plants don’t need fancy pants dirt — just regular old dirt will do it. Sometimes even bad dirt works.

Hello, Switch Grass, welcome to Oklahoma. You’re going to like it here.

It’s a good idea to mark the new plantings’ locations. We used salvaged materials from a construction tear-down for our markings (bricks and PVC pipes).

At the far end of The Square, Llano Indian grass (sorghastrum nulans) and Cheyenne Sky Switch Grass (in back, on the right) are harbingers of the prairie to come. Or, maybe they're echoes of the past prairie that was originally here.

Delicate baby Lead Plant (amorpha canescens) is guarded by a salvaged PVC pipe end and bricks. Can you see the glue blobs on those bricks? Mr Prairie Hilltop takes salvage very seriously. He spent last winter knocking off mortar and gluing broken bricks together.

Hey, Is that a prairie dog? Nope, it's only my post-planting consultant, Baxter, checking out the lead plants.

Total plantings:

3 – Switch grass (panicum v. Cheyenne Sky)
3 – Shenandoah Blue Switch Grass (panicum virgatum)
3 – Llano Indian Grass (sorghatrum nulans)
6 – Lead Plant (amorpha canescens)
1 – Prairie Dropseed (sporobolus heterolepis) – Wish I’d gotten more of this one!

Next — Order up some seeds for wider plantings. I read somewhere that first snows can be a helpful friend by pushing seed into the ground.

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2 Responses to The first planting

  1. Amy says:

    Love the photo of Sammie and Baxter looks like a ‘dood from above! Oh…the plants look good, too!!

    • Well, they ARE cousins afterall (Baxter & the ‘Doods), so there would be a similarity. And on the plants, just wait. You’re gonna be so impressed … in about five years when there’s an actual prairie.

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