[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Pat’s Prairie page.]
The upper prairie – the area that used to be an abandoned hay field – was planted at the beginning of 2016, so this was its second summer. It was still pretty weedy, but there are starting to be prairie plants, and many of them bloomed. Most of the photos I took this year are of the upper prairie.
The only work we did in the lower prairie was to mow one section, along the lower edge, in early July to see if that would help reduce the numbers of Canada Goldenrod. We’ve been told that mowing at that time for two years in a row can help.
5/25/2017 – This is one of the few photos of the lower prairie – now 17 years old. Parts of it have big patches of Wood Betony, which is partly parasitic, and seems to mostly affect Canada Goldenrod. This patch has lots of Wood Betony, and almost no Canada Goldenrod.
5/25/2017 This shows both the lower and the upper field. The upper field still has many weeds – including Yellow Rocket (Barbarea vulgaris) which is in bloom. The area to the left of the path in this photo is the section that we mowed in early July to try to control Canada Goldenrod.
6/29/2017 The upper prairie – with Fleabane and Field Thistle. Everything grew very tall.
7/10/2017 The biggest weed problem in the upper prairie was Common Mullein. I spent several weeks cutting off the seed stalks, and treating the cut stumps with glyphosate. Once the flowers started blooming, I took the cut stalks to the compost pile so they wouldn’t spread their seeds. I didn’t get all the plants, but I think I got more than half – and hopefully that will help.
7/13/2017 Common Mullein in the upper field
7/13/2017 Common Mullein, Field Thistle, Fleabane, and Black-eyed Susans
7/13/2017 The upper field along the beginning of the Dugway with Black-eyed Susans, Field Thistle, Common Mullein, Monarda, Queen Anne’s Lace, Fleabane, and White Sweet Clover.
7/13/2017 The Dugway and the southern end of the upper field
7/16/2017 The beginning of the Dugway path
7/16/2017 A part of the upper field after I’d cut and treated most of the Common Mullein
7/23/2017 The lower field, with the upper field above
7/23/2017 The lower field