Monday, September 1, 2008

Planting a prairie homesteader's garden

First, a weed identification puzzle: Green foxtail (Setaria viridis)? No hairs on leaves, even at base, which keys out to green foxtail. Any opinions, anyone?

The seedhead of this nasty weed grass is always getting into my dogs' fur, and the farm is full of it after a good rain. And where the foxtail is not growing, crabgrass makes a thick carpet. The only patch that hasn't been covered is planted with buffalo grass/blue grama (BG/BG) from some seeds I scattered several years ago and then forgot. I'm thinking that I could choke back the foxtail and crab grass weeds with a thick sowing of BG/BG. So today I borrowed my neighbor Jeremy's tiller and plowed it all up. I'm going to put down some stepping stones and then seed with the BG/BG mix I ordered from Plants of the Southwest. I would have finished the project today, but it got hot working in the sun, so I'll try to finish up tomorrow.

I really like my BG/BG lawn in the front, and I've wanted to create something like that for the farm for a few years. I've always had this picture in my head of a small food crop patch in some homesteader's yard, surrounded by prairie grasses, and I thought it would be nice to pay homage to that. I'll keep you posted on how it all turns out.

In the meantime, here is a shot of some of today's tilling, before I raked up the crab grass:

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