Nachusa meier seeds r 2011 10-21


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Presentation on seed collection, processing, and planting at Nachusa Grasslands in Franklin Grove, Illinois

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Nachusa meier seeds r 2011 10-21

  1. 1. Nachusa Grasslands Mary and Alan Meier
  2. 2. Nachusa Grasslands is about 3,000 acres,located near Franklin Grove, Illinois, in Leeand Ogle Counties.
  3. 3. Nachusa Grasslands is owned and managed byThe Nature Conservancy, a private, non-profitcharitable organization.The mission of The Nature Conservancy is topreserve the plants, animals, and naturalcommunities that represent the diversity of life onEarth by protecting the lands and waters theyneed to survive.
  4. 4. The preserve is celebrating its 25thAnniversary in 2011. Photo courtesy of Wes Gibson
  5. 5. Since 1986, 32 tracts have beenprotected, ranging from 10 acres to to 1,000 acres.
  6. 6. Nachusa contains many remnants of rare prairies, Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  7. 7. rocky outcroppings,
  8. 8. savannas,
  9. 9. sandstone ridges,
  10. 10. woodlands, Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  11. 11. and wetlands.
  12. 12. The remaining prairies in North Americaare now rarer than rainforests. Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  13. 13. By collecting . . .
  14. 14. and planting seeds,
  15. 15. managing invasive weeds and brush,
  16. 16. repairing wetlands,
  17. 17. and returning fire to the ecosystem,
  18. 18. . . . the Nachusa staff and volunteers are helpingto restore our natural heritage. Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  19. 19. We are replanting prairie habitats in thefarmland between the remnants tocreate a sustainable natural landscape.
  20. 20. Volunteers play an essential role inmaintaining and restoring the preserve.
  21. 21. Some volunteers serve as Stewards, managingspecific units on the preserve.
  22. 22. Others help out wherever and wheneverthey are needed.
  23. 23. Volunteer Activities• Brush Clearing December to May• Weed Removal May to August• Seed Picking, Processing, and Planting May to November• Prescribed Burns October and November March and April
  24. 24. Work days coordinated by Stewards take placeevery Saturday morning throughout the year.
  25. 25. Training and equipment are provided for allvolunteer work days – no experience orexpertise is required.
  26. 26. Fire Crews go through extensive training and arehighly supervised.
  27. 27. Fire helps to promote species diversity bycontrolling invasive weeds, shrubs and trees.
  28. 28. Fire also stimulates new plant growthand returns nutrients back to the soil.
  29. 29. Nachusa’s plant inventory includes atleast 855 species.
  30. 30. Forbs bloom from May to September andare harvested from spring through late fall.
  31. 31. General Seed Readiness Criteria• Seed coats changing from green to brown• Seed heads fluffed out• Earliest formed seeds dropping• Stems dry and usually brown – no longer receiving nourishment from roots• Seeds in pods dark and hard
  32. 32. Plantain Pussy Toes(Antennaria plantaginifolia) Blooms in May
  33. 33. Pick Pussy Toes in May when the seedheads have fluffed out.
  34. 34. Arrow-Leaved Violet (Viola sagittata) Blooms in May
  35. 35. Birdsfoot Violet (Viola pedata) Blooms in May
  36. 36. Violet Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea) Blooms in May
  37. 37. Pick Violets in late May or early Junewhen the seeds are firm.
  38. 38. Seed picking methods vary per species.
  39. 39. Seed Picking Equipment• Plastic buckets• Straps can be attached for two-handed picking• Seed pouches worn around waist (Jim-Gem)• Polypropylene bags• Paper sacks• Fiskars pruning snips• Victorinox Rose-Grape Gatherer or Swiss Army Harvester Garden Tool; Fiskars Cut and Hold snips• Heavy duty garden shears• Leather gloves to protect fingers and prevent blisters
  40. 40. Prairie Smoke(Geum triflorum )
  41. 41. Prairie Smoke is one of the rarest andmost beautiful plants at Nachusa.
  42. 42. Pick Prairie Smoke by hand in late May or earlyJune when the seed heads are very loose.
  43. 43. Shooting Star(Dodecantheeon meadia) Blooms in May
  44. 44. Pick Shooting Star in July when the seed heads arebeginning to open at the top and tiny seeds fall outwhen the head is held upside down.
  45. 45. Cream Wild Indigo(Baptisia leucophaea) Blooms in May Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  46. 46. Pick Cream Wild Indigo in July or August whenmost of the seed pods are partially black.
  47. 47. Cream Wild Indigo may be infested with weevils, butthere are usually a few seeds present in most pods.
  48. 48. Hoary Puccoon(Lithospermum canescens ) Blooms in May
  49. 49. Pick Hoary Puccoon in June when theseeds are brown.
  50. 50. False Toadflax(Comandra umbellata) Blooms in May
  51. 51. Pick False Toadflax in June when theseeds are hard little balls.
  52. 52. Common Spiderwort (Tradescantia ohiensis)Blooms in May and June Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  53. 53. Pick Spiderwort in July when the pods areturning yellow and haven’t all popped open.
  54. 54. Thimbleweed(Anemone cylindrica) Blooms in June
  55. 55. Pick Thimbleweed in September when the seedhead has started to fluff and gives no resistancewhen stripping by hand.
  56. 56. Pale Purple Coneflower (Echinacea pallida) Blooms in June
  57. 57. Pick Coneflower in August when the seed head iscompletely black and several inches of stem belowthe seed head are also black.
  58. 58. Wear gloves when picking or processingConeflower, as the seed heads are very spiky.
  59. 59. Nachusa is well-known for itsConeflower, Leadplant, and Coreopsisabundance.
  60. 60. Keeping Species Separate• Generally we pick just one species at a time.• We keep records of how much of each species we pick and cant do that if we mix species.• We also store the seeds separately so that we can make different mixes at planting time.• We do pick multiple species at once if we put the seeds in separate bags in our buckets or pouches.
  61. 61. Leadplant(Amorpha canescens) Blooms in June
  62. 62. Pick Leadplant in September when theseed heads are grayish brown and theseeds have not yet begun to drop
  63. 63. Goats Rue(Tephrosia virginiana) Blooms in June
  64. 64. Pick Goats Rue in September when theseed pods are brown, brittle, andtwisted, and at least some pods have splitopen.
  65. 65. Hill’s Thistle(Cirsium hillii [pumilu]) Photo courtesy of Blooms in June Ann Haverstock
  66. 66. Pick Hill’s Thistle in July when theseed head is almost fluffed out. Hill’sThistle is a threatened species inIllinois.
  67. 67. Wild Lupine(Lupinus perennis) Blooms in June
  68. 68. Pick Wild Lupine in June when pods aredarkening, but have not yet popped.
  69. 69. Philadelphia Lily Blooms in June Don’t pick or even(Lilium philadelphicum) touch – just enjoy
  70. 70. Purple Prairie Clover(Petalostemum or Dalea purpureum) Blooms in July
  71. 71. Pick Purple Prairie Clover in August when thestems are brown and the seed heads haveminimal resistance when hand stripped. Be sureto enjoy the lovely odor.
  72. 72. White Prairie Clover(Petalostemum or Dalea candidum) Blooms in July
  73. 73. White Prairie Clover seeds are harder anddarker than Purple Prairie Clover ones andshould also be picked in August when stems arebrown and seed heads have minimal resistancewhen hand stripped.
  74. 74. Butterfly Weed(Asclepias tuberosa interior) Blooms in July
  75. 75. Pick Butterfly Weed in August when the seed podshave split open or can be opened by gentlysqueezing on the pods.
  76. 76. Wild Quinine(Parthenium integrifolium) Blooms in July
  77. 77. Pick Wild Quinine in September when theseed heads are gray.
  78. 78. Flowering Spurge(Euphorbia corollata) Blooms in July
  79. 79. Pick Flowering Spurge in Septemberwhen the seeds are small green balls.
  80. 80. Wild Bergamot(Monarda fistulosa) Blooms in July
  81. 81. Pick Wild Bergamot in September whenthe seed heads are brown.
  82. 82. Prairie Tall Cinquefoil (Potentilla arguta) Blooms in July
  83. 83. Pick Prairie Tall Cinquefoilin September when theseed heads are brown oralmost brown. Seeds willfall out when held upsidedown.
  84. 84. Tall Gayfeather; Prairie Blazing Star (Liatris pycnostachya) Blooms in July
  85. 85. Pick Prairie Blazing Star in October whenthe seeds are fluffed. Cut off the top of thehead if it’s not completely fluffed and thenpick more later when more seeds havematured.
  86. 86. Hairy Hawkweed (Hieracium longipilum)Blooms in July through September
  87. 87. Pick HairyHawkweed by handin July throughSeptember whenthe seed heads arefluffy – take only theripe seeds andleave the rest tomature.
  88. 88. Hoary Vervain(Verbena stricta) Blooms in July
  89. 89. Pick Hoary Vervain in October whenthe seeds and stems are brown.
  90. 90. Blue Vervain(Verbena hastata) Blooms in July
  91. 91. Pick Blue Vervain in October whenthe seeds and stems are brown.
  92. 92. Rattlesnake Master(Eryngium yuccifolium) Blooms in July
  93. 93. Pick Rattlesnake Master in October whenthe seed heads are brown, and the stemsare starting to turn brown.
  94. 94. Black-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia hirta) Blooms in July
  95. 95. Black-Eyed Susan grows well in early restorationsamong agricultural and other weeds.
  96. 96. Pick Black-Eyed Susan in August whenthe seed heads and stems are black.
  97. 97. Rosinweed(Silphium integrifolium) Blooms in July
  98. 98. Pick Rosinweed in September when the seedheads are brown and dry.
  99. 99. Rough Blazing Star (Liatris aspera) Blooms in August
  100. 100. Rough Blazing Star on Dot’s Knob Photo courtesy of Kirk Hallowell
  101. 101. Pick Rough BlazingStar in October whenthe seeds are fluffed.Cut off the top of thehead if it’s notcompletely fluffedand then pick morelater when moreseeds have matured.
  102. 102. Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum) Blooms in August
  103. 103. Pick Nodding Wild Onion in Septemberwhen the seeds are black and at leastsome pods have opened so that a fewseeds are visible.
  104. 104. Round-Headed Bush Clover (Lespedeza capitata) Blooms in August
  105. 105. Pick Round-Headed Bush Clover inSeptember when the seed heads are brown.
  106. 106. Compass Plant(Silphium laciniatum) Blooms in August
  107. 107. Compass Plantsleaves orientthemselves in anorth to southdirection toavoid the directrays of themidday sun. Theleaves areusually quitecold becausetheir roots canbe 16 feet deep.
  108. 108. Pick Compass Plant in September when theseed heads are brown and can easily be pulledfrom the stem.
  109. 109. Pale Indian Plantain (Cacalia atriplicifolia) Blooms in July
  110. 110. Pick Pale Indian Plantain in September when theseed heads have fluffed out.
  111. 111. Tall Coreopsis(Coreopsis tripteris) Blooms in August
  112. 112. Pick Tall Coreopsis in September when the seedheads are dark brown or black.
  113. 113. Slender Mountain Mint(Pycnanthemum tenuifolium) Blooms in August
  114. 114. Pick Slender Mountain Mint in October whenthe seed heads are completely gray. Be sureto enjoy the aroma of a crushed seed head.
  115. 115. Old Field Goldenrod (Solidago nemoralis ) Blooms in September
  116. 116. Pick Goldenrod in October when theseed heads are completely or almostcompletely fluffed out.
  117. 117. Indian Grass(Sorghastrum nutans) Blooms in August
  118. 118. Big Bluestem(Andropogon gerardii) Blooms in August
  119. 119. Canada Wild Rye(Elymus canadensis) Blooms in August
  120. 120. Little Bluestem(Andropogon [Schizachyrium] scoparium) Blooms in August
  121. 121. Pick Little Bluestem in October when theseed heads have fluffed out.
  122. 122. Prairie Gentian(Gentiana purberulenta) Blooms in September Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  123. 123. Bottle (or Closed) Gentian (Gentiana andrewsii) Blooms in September Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  124. 124. Fringed Gentian(Gentiana [Gentianopsis] crinita) Blooms in September Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  125. 125. Pick Gentian in October when the seed podshave turned brown and have split open or canbe opened by gently squeezing on the pods.The seeds are small, tan flakes.
  126. 126. Stiff Aster (Aster linariifolius)Blooms in September Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  127. 127. Pick Aster in October when theseed heads have fluffed out.
  128. 128. The Nachusa Headquarters Barn was built in1867. About ten years ago, it was moved to the siteand reconstructed. Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  129. 129. The Barn has a seed processing area,lunch/meeting room, office, loft, garage, andworkshop. Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  130. 130. Seed Processing Equipment Racks for Drying Seeds
  131. 131. Seed Racks and Poly Bags Photo courtesy of Hank and Becky Hartman
  132. 132. “Octopus” for Drying Seeds
  133. 133. Electric blowers for drying large quantities of seed.
  134. 134. Hammermill for Separating Seeds from Chaff
  135. 135. Hammermill with Seed Vacuum
  136. 136. Hammermill Tray with Seeds and Netting
  137. 137. Garbage Can for Collecting Milled Seed
  138. 138. Funnel for Poly Bags
  139. 139. Funnel for Grocery Sacks
  140. 140. Hand Processing Screen and Box
  141. 141. You can also put a screen on thefloor, spread seeds on it, and then useyour feet to mill them.
  142. 142. Scale for Weighing Seeds
  143. 143. Seed Barrels
  144. 144. Work Area with Various Supplies
  145. 145. A view of the prairie from the Barn window. Photo courtesy of Kirk Hallowell
  146. 146. Seed Mixes• We plant some species individually, but generally we put seeds in a seed mix before planting.• For our most recent planting, we made three seed mixes – mesic, dry mesic, and general.• If we have any questions what mix to put a species in, we refer to Swenk and Wilhelm.• To mix the seeds, we put down a large tarp, pour all the seeds onto the tarp, mix them well using rakes and shovels, and then shovel the seeds back into the barrels.
  147. 147. Barrels of mixed seeds ready to plant. Photo courtesy Hank and Becky Hartman
  148. 148. Restoration Planting Methods• Harvest corn in September or October.• Burn corn stubble in early November.• Spread seed mixes – general mix over the entire planting after November 15 and before the ground freezes.• Harrow the field.• Many seeds require exposure to cold temperatures for a certain period of time, and the freezing and thawing of the ground prepares the seeds for germination in the spring.• If you wait and plant in March or April then many of the seeds will not germinate until the following year.
  149. 149. Lime spreader for planting seeds. Photo courtesy Hank and Becky Hartman
  150. 150. Hand broadcasting and harrowing. Photo courtesy Hank and Becky Hartman
  151. 151. Overseeding Methods• Overseeding in November or December is preferred, especially if the area is burned first.• After a spring burn (March or April) – only best if there is a heavy thatch buildup and cannot do a fall burn.• Plant as you pick – violets – pick, let dry for a week so they dehisce, and then plant the next week.• Porcupine grass – pick in the morning and plant that afternoon.• Follow natures pattern by planting at the same time that the seeds would naturally fall from the plant.• This can work well, especially if you burned the prior spring or fall because there should not be a lot of thatch build up.
  152. 152. Where to Collect Seeds• Seeds should be picked as close to the restoration as possible – 25 to 50 mile radius.• The genotype should be better adapted to the location of your restoration.• Most of our seeds are picked at Nachusa.• Other options – railroad and road right of ways and hillsides.• Always obtain permission of landowners or public area managers before collecting.
  153. 153. Keeping Seed Records• GPS works well for tracking the exact locations of your seed sources.• Keep seed diaries that record the locations and dates that you picked a species.• Detailed records will help you remember where and when to pick in subsequent years.
  154. 154.
  155. 155. Questions and Comments?
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