Joined: Jun 3, 2018 Last Active: Jul 2, 2022 iNaturalist

I'm a retired Unitarian Universalist minister. In September of 2016 my wife and I moved into a home we had just built that backs up to Walnut Creek, a stream that runs year round. Between the edge of the steep ravine that leads down to the creek and the wrought iron fence that marks the end of our property, is about 1,200 square feet of land that, though it belongs technically to the homeowner's Association, we can use it. I've reclaimed about 1,000 square feet to native grasses and forms.
The soil is heavy clay. According to the National Cooperative Soil Survey it is Slidell clay. When I moved in the ground so hard you needed a pick to start a hole. It was sparsely covered with Johnson grass and briars. Since then:

  1. February of 2017: Mantis rototiller to remove rocks and other debris (rebar, heavy netting, other debris).
  2. March of 2017: Sheet mulched it with newspaper sheets of cardboard and bagged manure, compost, and soil.
  3. May of 2017: Planted Sorghum-Sudan grass, buckwheat, and Cowpeas. The Sorghum-sudan was cut back to six inches each time it reached about 4 feet in height and was starting to go to seed. for a total of four cut backs.
  4. October of 2017: cut back the sorghum-sedan to the ground with a trimmer with a hard plastic blade
  5. November 2017. Planted white clover and perennial rye for a winter cover.
  6. March 2018: Tilled under the clover and rye with a mid-tine tiller and then used a smaller tiller several times to kill any remaining vegetation and mix in cotton burr compost and expanded shale.
  7. April 15, 2018: Planted Native American Seed's Blackland prairie mix and, in addition, some Big Bluestem.
  8. June 11, 2018: Healthy, thick mix of a variety of native grasses and forbs. Most haven't flowered yet.

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