On a recent stewardship visit on one of the St Louis Butterly Byway Project sites, our team decided the ragweed among others needed to be mowed in a classic height control mowing event. We often encounter excess weed chaff or seeds in our equipment radiators at the end of a mowing event. On some occasions, the pollen cycle is at its peak. Fortunately, neither of our team members suffer from severe hayfever. So keep this in mind, the radiator is black. Holy Pollen Folks!
As property managers struggle to make budgets work, a very real consideration for management of sites is restoring native prairies. Almost always the return on investment takes less than three years, not to mention the ongoing savings of maintenance costs as the future years pass. With an annual mow and a couple of stewardship visits, native prairies’ list of benefits to the site are almost too numerous to list. The real benefit though is returning the fescue/bluegrass lawns to a natural environment ready and willing to support native pollinators and birds. As these newly reconstructed prairies evolve and mature, they produce flowering vistas loaded with hope and promises that only a restored native environment can provide. Sometimes, Yes sometimes, these new restored prairies help answer every child’s favorite question: “Where do Clouds come from?”
We recently had the pleasure of planting this landscape that will provide resources for pollinators and people! Native plants such as cardinal flower, purple coneflower, aster, calamint, and golden groundsel provide great floral resources for pollinators. We also planted larval food plants for caterpillars such as pawpaw, oak, and milkweed. Did you know that over 500 species of insects depend on oaks as their food source? And all baby birds are raised on insects!!! We also planted species that provide food for people such as pawpaws, persimmon, and hazelnut. These are native Missouri trees and shrubs that have edible fruits. We also are using native plants to help manage the water in the yard. By planting plants like buttonbush, swamp milkweed, and bald cypress that love wet spaces in the wet areas of the yard we will help the water to soak into the soil instead of pooling or running off. Going native can help people and the environment, and is beautiful too.
Our Native Landscape Solutions, Inc. crews recently completed an off-the-grid, remote, non-native invasive plant control project for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at Cuivre River State Park. We treated 150 acres to control Garlic Mustard, a plant that many experts consider one of the ten most destructive plants in the state. Each of the biennial plants is capable of producing 500 or more seeds, which readily germinate the following year to continue its cycle. Although the area treated is not frequented by park visitors, the invasive populations of Garlic Mustard none the less were at risk of jeopardizing the entire stream corridor. Our crews worked long days to get the entire area under control. It is gratifying to play a positive role in controlling unwanted invasive plants in one of Missouri’s most beautiful parks. Our crews are licensed and trained for this type of work and they are very focused on completing their work in a professional manner. We are proud of our crews for their hard work and diligent service.