$400 gone, prairie to come?

Most times when someone spends about $400 for “grass” it begins with a back-alley deal and ends with many cases of the munchies.

Tuesday I forked over that much scraped- together cash and it may end up as nothing. Hopefully, though, it’ll end up with six acres of fine prairie on a part of our farm that’s been nothing but brome for several decades.

By design it’ll be a mixture of grasses to eight feet tall and a collection of vibrant, seed-bearing wildflowers. I’m hoping for a prime bedding area for whitetails, a place for wild turkeys to nest and a complete home for bobwhites and other ground-nesting birds.

But right now I’m out $394.30 and am the aprehensive owner of just 64.76 pounds of native grass and forb seeds. That’s two bags I can easily lift at the same time.

I’ve already invested many days on our place north of Lawrence trying to get the land prepped by three sprayings with Round-Up and multiple disking to get the seed bed right.

Even if all goes well I may see no significant signs of prairie for three or four years.

So, I guess I’ll do my best getting the seed into the ground and hope Mother Nature smiles upon me.

Here is the menu of what we’ll be planting for wildlife. The mix was provided by Andy Friesen, the Wildlife and Parks biologist for our area.

GRASSES – Big Bluestem, Little Bluestem, Switchgrass, Indian Grass, Sideoats Gramma, Western Wheatgrass.

FORBES – Illinois Bundleflower, Maximillian Sunflower, Purple Prarie Clover, Showy Partridge Pea, Clasping Coneflower, Grey Head Coneflower, Black Eye Susan, Indian Blanket, Upright Coneflower, Plains Coreopsis, Lance-leaf Coreopsis, Purple Coneflower, Blanketflower.