To Reclaim Land Start With the Flowers

Cheatgrass is everywhere. Almost.

Where cheatgrass doesn’t get a hold, flowers grow.

Many flowers.

Many many flowers. Note that there is little gras of any kind. This is the Earth reclaiming a damaged place.

And after flowers, the bees, who burrow in the earth, meet the call.

The grass, like any climax forest, comes later.

Where grass is planted first to reclaim the land …

… all there is is grass and voles, and a coyote following them, and a deer or two. Not even any birds.

6 replies »

  1. How can one steward the reclamation appropriately? I wonder about the “hydroseeding” that has just been done along our country road…what grass mix is used there, what flower seeds within it? And within the boundaries of this small woodland, how might one assist the land taking itself back to appropriate species rather than species deemed invasive? I’ve found an organization to assist us…OSStewardship…and I am more hopeful now.


    • They use pretty invasive grasses in those mixes. The land will respond to whatever you do, and nothing will remain constant. The most important thing, though, is probably timing. A lot of plants are going to need a fresh seedbed in July or August, and some moss or lichen to root in is vital for others. Cheatgrass will defeat everything else if it gets established.


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      • That’s what I was afraid of…invasive grasses. They are already germinating, and look like a lawn 😦 Moss and lichen…hmmm…can that be transplanted? I need to do some more research. And then do something! Thanks for inspiring more thinking and acting!!!


      • The cheatgrass will dry up in the heat. Just don’t let it go to seed. Best might be to cut if off when it forms seed stalks and dispose of them. You could make islands like gopher diggings in it for the summer, and plant something there. To build up lichens, you can move some lichen-crusted stones there and let the rain and snow seed them. Seed islands!


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      • I need to do more plant ID so I know what grass is what…they are all so beautiful and yet we are told some are also dangerous. Oh, we have pocket gophers so I have experienced such islands. And I will keep on the lookout for lichen which is already here.
        Thanks for the tips!


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