Green grows the meadow. And, yellow, red, orange, and purple for that matter.
I’m pleased to write that the meadow in the upper pasture is growing well now that we added water to the equation. We found the soil too dry to support the wildflowers. We run 30 minutes of irrigation five nights a week from two commercial sprinkler heads. Because the well must pump uphill, we get about an inch a week with this watering program. We move the sprinklers around the pasture for more even watering.
Once the meadow is fully established, I hope we no longer need to water this much. We shouldn’t as the ground gets better. It was full of terrible soil, but as the meadow grows and dies and is mown late in winter/early spring, I think the soil will get better.
I walked up to the meadow and mowed a couple of paths around the space and within it. I forgot to take a photo of the two paths, but like how they look.
What I’ve noticed throughout this season is an ever-changing variety of flowers. In spring, we had crimson clover and Achillea millefolium, common yarrow, with annual poppies. Now, the meadow is full of coreopsis, cosmos–the sulphur-yellow type and the traditional pink ones–both part of an annual seed mixture, several daisy-like flowers, and gaillardia. Some of these are from the seeds I planted last fall, and others have simply come up on their own.
Unfortunately, johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense L, is another big grower in the meadow. Although this grass is ubiquitous to Oklahoma, it is not native. I’m trying to kill it, and I realize, in summer, we are in the middle of a standoff. I take my battery-operated DEWALT String Trimmer and chop the grass as far down as possible. Then, I spray the johnsongrass with glyphosate. I can hear you shudder. I normally don’t use glyphosate anywhere on my property unless I have a particular problem like poison ivy or johnsongrass. In garden beds, I’ve dug out johnsongrass roots by hand, but I can’t in this pasture. The ground is too hard, and the grass is too mighty.
The applications I made last week worked, and I have another spot I need to do this week. I’ve noticed within a couple of weeks, other seeds of flowers are sprouting and growing up through the dead grass. Note, I do not spray anything on a windy day, and I wear protective clothing. I also do the work in the morning on a hot day to avoid overheating.
One more thing, I wanted all of you to know I’m taking a social media break for a while, until Labor Day, which falls on my birthday this year. Why? As coronavirus wore on through the summer, I felt like I was craving human contact. I work from home, and I don’t get out much. I am an introvert, but I need people as everyone does. I also realized how much time social media was taking away from my real life, including writing this blog. I didn’t notice these things until we were all stuck at home, and I craved real, personal interaction with my friends and family.
I also read Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, by Cal Newport, and it kind of blew my mind. In connection with all of this, yesterday, I deactivated my Twitter account. I was never on there anyway, and it seemed silly to keep it. Then, my youngest daughter’s Twitter account was hacked by someone, and I watched her deactivate hers.
I thought, now is the time.
Once Labor Day comes, I’ll probably keep my Facebook and Instagram, but only get on them a couple of times a week. I’ve been making plans with friends in the meantime. You know, like having coffee, safely, of course. The best way to reach me for gardening questions will be through this blog, or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I found I couldn’t keep up with Instagram Messenger, Facebook Messenger, Direct Messages on Twitter, and my email. It was all just too much.
I’ll keep gardening. You keep gardening, and let’s chat on here instead. Many hugs to all of you!
Carol Michel and I do have a new podcast episode on the Gardenangelists. This week we talked about Agastache, Peppers, and Monarch Waystations because I finally made my entire property a Monarch Waystation through Monarch Watch. I’d already done the work. Might as well make it official.