Recommended Timing For Site Preparation And Plant Establishment
Prior to starting the Timeline steps for year two, site preparation tasks including grading, thatch removal and herbicide applications, will have been completed during year one. Tasks in year two, beginning with step seven, will focus on invasive vegetation control and begin the establishment of native forbs, sedges and rushes.
Step seven: Summer
Invasive Vegetation Control: Control emerging non-native vegetation as needed, either through spot broad-spectrum herbicide application or hand weeding. Conduct frequent site visits to monitor conditions.
Step eight: Early Fall
Additional Invasive Vegetation Control: Control emerging non-native vegetation as needed, either through spot broad-spectrum herbicide application or hand weeding.
Treat Non-native Grasses: Monitor for the presence of aggressive non-native annual grass species such as Vulpia myuros and treat with another round of broad-spectrum herbicide or a grass-specific herbicide if present.
Step nine: Fall
Re-evaluate Plant Community: Re-evaluate plant community to determine if site preparation has been adequately effective to move into the plant establishment phase (See Section 5.0 – Plant Establishment in Practical Guidelines for Wetland Prairie Restoration for detail, link on left). If significant invasive vegetation issues persist, one additional year of treatment may be necessary before planting. Most old field sites would likely require this additional year of treatment.
Step ten: fall
Buffer Planting: Plant a buffer strip of aggressive native grasses around the perimeter of the restoration area, approximately fifteen feet in width, to help prevent invasive non-native vegetation from spreading into the project area. Utilize a no-till seed drill to insure good coverage. Recommended grass species include Agrostis exarata, Deschampsia cespitosa, Elymus glaucus (blue wildrye), Hordeum brachyantherium (meadow barley).
Step eleven: Fall
Round One Planting: Seed restoration area with native forbs/sedges/rushes using a broadcast seeder (See Section 5.0 – Plant Establishment in Practical Guidelines for Wetland Prairie Restoration for detail, link on left). Do not plant native grasses in this round. This will allow forbs time to establish and allow for the use of grass-specific herbicide if needed.
Step twelve: November-July
Invasive Vegetation Control: Monitor closely for the presence of invasive non-native vegetation and spot spray, manually remove, and/or mow as necessary to control.
Control Emerging Non-Native Grasses: Monitor site closely for the presence of non-native grasses and apply grass-specific herbicide if necessary. This can usually be done in select areas as needed using a backpack or ATV with sprayer. The timing of the application is dependent on species (eg. Vulpia would be treated earlier than Lolium) and weather conditions.