Hey all. I have a quarter acre clearing in a corner of my 7 acre property. Currently it's full of wildflowers and beginning to be colonized by oak trees saplings. The neighbor had kept it mowed but this is the first season it has been left alone. After setting the neighbor straight on boundaries, he has cleared an alternate path around my corner so it will continue to be left alone. So what should I do with it?
It is hard for me to access currently, through timber and a fence. I will try to get at least a walking path but hopefully big enough for small equipment too. I like the idea of leaving it to the wild flowers, so should I just go back a couple times a year to kill off the encroaching trees?
My wife thinks we should do a food plot for wildlife after seeing how our local conservation department will use some of their land to grow turnips for the deer. I would consider planting some low maintenance food forest plants. Plenty of forest around already so I like the biodiversity the clearing brings. Any thoughts? Just looking for general management ideas. Thanks!
Since you said you already have lots of forested land around this bit, I like the idea of leaving the "meadow" for biodiversity. Around where I live the prairie has lots of clusters of small tree/shrubs instead of taller trees. Are there some native shrubs that you could plant that might provide a food source for the local wildlife? Or something for pollinators perhaps? You could also try sowing some kind of cover-crop mix that would improve the soil and also create food for wildlife. My grandparents who live outside Kansas City use a mix of Hairy Vetch, Clover, some kind of field peas and rye on their meadow in the fall, which helps the wildlife forage and build up fat to last through the winter.
I Solemnly Swear I am NOT the crazy cat lady!
*but not for a lack of trying!
I would agree with the previous statements. Let the saplings start getting bigger. Maybe throw in a couple of apples for yourself and the deer and cage them during their early stages. Vetch, field pea, wildflowers--bees. See if you can get a hive from the extension office or forest service and let them pollinate your land for you. One day they may even thank you for some of their extra honey.