Thursday, March 1, 2012
NATIVE SEED PLANTING AT COMMONS FORD
Major developments in the last few weeks at Commons Ford. The initial seeding plan called for use of a broadcast seeding technique with the assistance of volunteers. Behind the scenes discussions led to the development of a new partnership with Native American Seed based in Junction, TX. While discussing the seed mix alternatives for the prairie, NAS suggested that a no-till drilling process would likely provide a higher seed germination rate. Unfortunately, the restoration budget was not sufficient to allow for the no-till drilling process. NAS, having taken a significant interest in the project and understanding the importance of every native prairie restoration effort, offered to conduct the no-till drilling for a substantially reduced fee resulting in a in-kind contribution to project.
The end result is that, on the weekend of February 24, 2012, we completed the seeding process using the no-till drilling method. The seed mix was prepared in consultation with NAS, Travis Audubon Society and Balcones Canyonland Preserve representatives as well as research conducted by Commons Ford Prairie Restoration Organization volunteers. The mix contains 67 native grasses and forbs which are appropriate for the sandy loam soil type and which are geared toward attracting and sustaining prairie bird species which depend on such vegetation for food, nesting and cover. Some of the species in the mix include little and big bluestem, side-oats grama, bush sunflower, American basketflower, Texas cupgrass and many more. Check out the pictures!