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Hayfield Succession  RSS feed

 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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Last year, we bought a house on 3 acres; one in woods and two in hay field.  This spring I've planted 75 native fruit and nut seedlings to start a fedge around the property.  I also planted four dwarf fruit trees to start our food forest Garden. Until the FFG expands to full size, and perhaps even afterward, this area will be rotational poultry pasture.

My problem is with the grass hayfield.  It is a biological desert.  I've read Gaia's Garden, Introduction to Permaculture and One Straw Revolution, and I've done the requisite searchs of the forums on permies.com. But I find only the standard "add accumulators and nitrogen fixers". Since I've missed the proverbial last freeze, which would heave the ground and cover my seed, I plan to broadcast the seeds and mow the field one last time to mulch them. 

So I thought I would share my plan to increase the biodiversity, and get your thoughts. Here is what I have available to sow:

N fixers:
Slender lespedeza is ordered to plant among the fedge and FFG. (I wish I had read about PC last fall, when I ordered the seedlings.  I would have ordered 75 lespedeza and done the one-hole-two-plants method.)
Red clover.  I've bought 4# of seed, double the rate farmers use.
Beans. 1# ea. of adzuki and soy, left over from a sprouting mix I bought.  DW has now idea what to do with them.

Grains:  Sorghum, millet and sunflower from the wild bird seed.  Amaranth.  Winter wheat.  I may have some left over spelt and kamut, too.

Vegetables:  I have plenty of leftover seed, dating back to 2009.  lettuce, brocolli, cabbage, you name it. I also have those freebie seeds they send with each order, which I have never planted. 

Herbs: Really, how many dill plants do I need in the garden?  Same for the other herbs. I also got some flax, tobacco and wormwood this year.  Again, after planting several of each in the garden, there is plenty of seed left over.

Flowers:  Annuals, same excess as veggie and herb seeds.

Natives:  We have a nice patch of wild flowers and some native and/or warm weather grass growing in a low-lying area which was too wet for them to hay.  I could try to gather some of their seeds to add to the field.

Comfrey has been ordered. 

I can only find diakon radish in one of my catalogs. They also have asparagus seed. I'll be adding them next year.

So you can see, my plan is to scatter every seed I can get my hands on to increase biodiversity, attract pollinators, accumulate nutrients and provided mulch.  I would appreciate any comments, warnings, criticisms or suggestions.  S2
 
Jack Shawburn
Posts: 230
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Sounds like you are on track with everything.
We are almost at the same stage, size and have much grass too.
Personally I think our grass are a direct result of regular fires.
We tend to cut down much of our grass two to three times
a season and a nice mulch is resulting.
We do firebreaks too and are very vigilant of fires
I can see some volunteer pioneer species as a result now.
Our trees get extra mulch around them and wood is laid
in a wide circle on the soil to keep the mulch contained and promote fungi.
I then plant N-fixers, insectary, food for birds etc through the mulch around the trees.
Slender Lespedeza sounds good but not this one...
Sericia Lespedeza...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WkTTmqcJQYo
I do extensive research now before putting in something
that may be hard to get rid of later.
I learnt that lesson with Chinaberry !
Post some pics later please...
 
                            
Posts: 42
Location: Central Missouri
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Thanks Jen.  With no warnings or criticisms from other members, I guess I am on track.  I was a bit concerned about promoting native grasses, as I'm trying to eliminate the existing grass.

And thanks for the reminder.  I need to get some pic's of the desert of grass, so I have something for folks to compare future pic's with. 

Since there is still time to plant this spring, and I have the funds, I went ahead and ordered more plants which I had intended to get next spring:

Asparagus
Daikon Radish
Borage
Jerusalem Artichoke
Walking onions
Siberian pea shrub
Lupines
Rhubarb
5 more dwarf fruit trees
and 6 varieties of fruit bushes

I still need blueberries, grapes and some named cultivars of blackberries, medlar, mulberry, persimmon, etc..  I'm sure I'll find other plants I "need" by next spring, too
 
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