Monday, April 18, 2016

Native Plant Nursery Building Continues

We spent this past beautiful, warm weekend making great progress in our plant nursery and enjoying all the signs of spring. It felt positively lovely to work outdoors in t-shirts!

We are making changes to our nursery layout to make room for more plants and more parking by integrating our plant tables into our orchard. Eventually these trees will offer shade and make for a very pleasant plant perusal experience. Steve has a very good idea how to build a shade structure over the tables using lots of reclaimed materials so we will share that process as we make it.

Our stacks of free pallets are now in place to hold more plant pots. These pallets have some wide gaps so we will add an extra board then put snow fence on top to maximize the amount of plant pots they will hold. It feels so good to clean up and put to use some of our accumulated piles of free stuff!

We are repurposing our path mat we removed from our wildflower zones in these new plant pot zones and will cover them with woodchips. (We know free chips will find us soon!) The path mat is something neither of us like very well and is something we are using in a much more thoughtful way. It's not an end all be all to weeds, is a bit of a nightmare to pickup and leaves fragments everywhere.

Here's another new zone for more pots...most likely trees and shrubs. We just love the sinuous nature of this new zone and will craft more areas like this over time.

The back side of our orchard and native plant nursery is where we thought we might put a high tunnel so we killed the sod two years ago by smothering it with a large piece of plastic. We aren't sure yet if we are going to do this so rather than keep this area killed under plastic, we are going to cover crop it this year with lots of bee/soil feeding plants. When we pulled the cover off, we watched a little vole scurry through its myriad tunnels to get to its hidy hole. What a fast and cute little bugger!

Since we pulled all the path mat out of this wildflower zone we scattered lots of native seeds last fall and I spread wheat straw this weekend to protect the soil and maintain some soil moisture. This wheat straw has lots of seeds in it since many farmers were unable to harvest the wheat last year due to crazy rains. Some of the seeds are still viable and will be a nice cover crop until other plants grow. We plan to manage these wildflower beds as meadows (not prairies) and only manage the super aggressive invasive plants. Dandelions stay!

Many of our overwintered plants are growing fabulously and we will start seeding hundreds or maybe thousands of new plants soon. We don't know yet our open days for 2016, but we will let you all know when we do. We look forward to a great growing year!


  1. IF I get any where close (Im planning a northern-midwestern type later summer trip) I really want to visit your Nursery! You have some fabulous ideas, and it is looking great!!

    1. You are so totally invited if you get anywhere near here! We would just love to meet you in person. :)

  2. All those old pallets from pops are handy! Looking awesome!

    1. We are making good progress...yep, Pops is GREAT! :)


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