Buffalo Ridge Prairie 2004

[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main Buffalo Ridge Prairie page.]

Since the farmer was planting corn this year we decided keep this field fallow. We mowed it several times to keep down the annual weeds, and had the farmer spray it with Roundup in October.

Here it is as a field of Foxtail – before mowing.

And this is how it looked just after Mike mowed it – a lot like a giant lawn.

In November I staked it to get ready for planting. I divided the field into 52 sections. I discovered some easy ways to get the sections fairly even and the lines straight. The sections were slightly smaller than the ones I’ve done before – which made it easier to plant. Here’s part of the field with its stakes in place.

Another innovation this year was getting the seeds up on top of the hill before it snowed. Last year I pulled the seeds I needed that day up on a sled – that was just too much work. So this year I bought some big metal garbage cans, packed the seeds in them, and drove them up in the gator before the snow fell. I distributed the cans around the field, and wired them shut so that animals couldn’t get inside. I also left a couple of buckets to carry the seeds in while I was planting. It was great to have all my equipment up on top – I didn’t have to carry anything when I walked up the hill to plant.

Here are the cans of seeds in the snow.