We took advantage of the one beautiful day we had, for endless weeks. No storms, heat or thick air (aka humidity) zapping our energy. The labs & I went down to check out the weedy mess we are hoping to turn into a Butterfly Garden. My thought was to see what was growing, and try to pull a weed or two. I wanted to see how/if they came out easy.
I just got down to the bottom of our property, when Brad came wheeling down in McBouncy. Before I knew it, we were in over our heads pulling tall weeds, after taller weeds, after the tallest of weeds. They had choked out anything worth saving. Who needs a gym when you've got weeds to wrangle with attempts of tossing heavy roots, and repeating until you can't anymore.
We got about 1/3 of the way through the weedy 20' x 30' ish area by hand, before we took a break. The pile in the photo above was much higher, before Brad hauled bucket loads of pulled weeds away.
The further in we got, the more the soil changed. Weeds became increasingly harder to pull. McBouncy took over and removed the rest of the weeds, without too much of the soil.
weeds be gone!!
A few hours of hot sweaty work and we accomplished step one, weed removal without chemicals. As you can see above, there is still a wood stump. As well as other debris left over from the massive wood scrap pile we inherited, added to and earlier this year burned down.
The pile appeared in many of my land pics over the years. The size of the pile/area doesn't come through in photos. It looks even smaller with just dirt. However, it is very visible even at a distance. Visitors inquire about the pile all the time. We considered making it into a wildlife pond, but decided against that spot. We might put some type of pond in someday, different location. I enjoy riding around the area, pile or not. The weeds were taller than me on Koda's back. For years it used to look like this:
April 10, 2021 burn
the fire burned for weeks
Next step is piling all the remaining debris and burning again. Our weather has been less than desirable, until this week.
I've been reading up from several good seed/plant and land management resources. They all say to wait another year, using various weed control methods...but I'm not sure I can wait that long. I bought some butterfly friendly seeds last Spring, intending to plant them somewhere this Fall. I test started a six pack of several types, before this garden idea ever came up. The plants are still growing in other areas, so I know they can thrive here. I would absolutely wait, if it was our prospective Prairie. That large of an area, has to be done right.
We have common milkweed (host plant) all over our property. I want to diversify and this is a great time of year for sales. If I could get to the garden centers. Although, we are not ready to plant a 600 square foot garden. Yet. So much for not gardening here. Fall is around the corner. My mind wanders with endless possibilities...a path to ride through? a place for my old horse bench, after refinishing? a solar water feature? a stone walking path? a butterfly house or three, made out of wood and/or my really really (really) dried gourds? rock features? or just a big beautiful patch of wild flowers, flutterby's and future foto fun?!!