[To see photos and stories of this prairie in other years, go to the links on the main 3 Finger Valley page.]
In the fall of 2001, after the soybeans were harvested, we divided the field into acre sized areas using wooden stakes.
Here I am pounding in the stakes and painting them with fluorescent paint so we can see them easily.
And here’s the valley with all its stakes.
After this photo was taken, Mike mowed the center strip of weeds, so we could plant seeds there too.
In December of 2001 we hand broadcast a mixture of prairie seeds over the whole field. We planted seeds of some aggressive species into the center strip since they had to compete with an aggressive mix of species that were already growing there. We got all the seeds on the ground before there was any snow, so the planting was easy and went very fast.
We use a slightly different mix of seeds for each prairie we plant. This year I made the mix so that we would have about 40 seeds in each square foot – 12 grass seeds, and 28 forb seeds. I planted the seeds of 12 different prairie grasses, and 97 different prairie forbs.