Land Management & Wildlife Enhancement
Prairie Land Management :: Land Management & Wildlife Enhancement
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Habitat Information: Is it a Weed or was it Planted?

Native grass plantings are almost always weedy the first year of establishment. This is mainly due to the fact that the soil has been disturbed during the site preparation and/or planting process and this disturbance has stimulated weeds seeds to germinate. Every year during annual tillage of farm fields, these weed seeds lay dormant until disturbed and then germinate. Most of the time you will not notice these weeds because steps are taken during the management of the crop to control these weeds. Unfortunately there are few methods to control weeds during your first year establishment of your native grasses. However, there are steps and methods that can be taken to reduce the problem. PLM staff will work with you closely on taking these steps to provide faster wildlife habitat, a more successful establishment or your native grasses and to ultimately save you money as well.


First year native grass stand with various annual weeds such as foxtail, pigweed and ragweed…along with a nice developing stand of native grasses and wildflowers (see the black-eyed susans). Annual weeds are excellent sources of high protein seeds and excellent cover for pheasants and other wildlife. Due to no annual tillage or disturbance of the site, these annuals will faze out each year.



Controlling the "weed competition" the first year is very important. The photo on the left reveals just how important it is…the left side of the photo received no herbicide application and the right side received 1.5 qt./ac. roundup. The site on the right side has a nice stand of native grass developing while the left side has a nice stand of quack grass, more thistles and more pocket gopher mounds. The right photo shows PLM staff standing in a 1st year planting... already knee high!



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