Nachusa prairie planting #133

This Fall we began the process to turn a retired agricultural field into a mosaic of wetlands, wet prairie, mesic and dry prairie.

Below are the photos and maps of this work. At the end is a link to the full report on our Friends of Nachusa Grasslands site. The report was written by this year’s Nachusa Resident Fellow, Anna Scheidel.

Anna Scheidel

The planting is 23-acres.


On this 23 acres we planted 1,622 pounds so about 70 pounds per acres of seed from 165 species of seed!
The fall crew of Khushali, Morgan, Emma and Anna completed the hand harvest of seed, mixed the seed, and planted it.

We pulled two seeders around the field.


Some of the special seeds, and the very wet areas were hand planted.

This view is just after we created three scrapes, using the soils removed to build two shallow dikes that also created shallow pools. These open waters will typically freeze in the winter and perhaps dry out in the late summer, thus being great habitat for frogs and turtles and other critters.

To read Anna Scheidel’s carefully written 18 page report go the Friends of Nachusa Grasslands Stewardship tab and scroll down to Planting Histories to number 133. Here is a direct link to the report: https://www.nachusagrasslands.org/uploads/5/8/4/6/58466593/planting_133_%E2%80%93_2020_%E2%80%93_juanita_williams_unit_%E2%80%93_crew_%E2%80%93_a_scheidel.pdf

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5 Responses to Nachusa prairie planting #133

  1. George Manning says:

    Great work Anna!

  2. athada says:

    Very exciting?

    So you don’t have concerns with seeding over top that much corn stubble?

  3. athada says:

    Very exciting?

    So you don’t have concerns with seeding over top that much corn stubble?

    • A modest or regular amount of corn stubble we think, we don’t know, does not hinder germination or establishment. We figure the corn stubble helps in lowering erosion, and perhaps keeping some moisture in the seedlings in August droughts. It would be hard to tease these out with out controlled study. But we seem to be getting good results. For years, we would mow the corn stubble, then burn it off to reduce the litter. Last several years we just mow the stubble and plant.

      • athada says:

        That’s good to know…. what you know, what you think you know, what you suspect, what you’re just guessing. It’s all helpful. Thanks!

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