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First yr cp2


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I got ~40 acres of crp planted last spring and kept it mowed all summer and fall. I had promising signs of big blue, switch, and black eyed susan's throughout the seeding but also had a lot of foxtail. Hopefully keeping it mowed did the trick at getting some established. But what would you advise for yr two? Any benefit from doing a burn knowing that this has been mowed all last year, so relatively short going into spring? I can mow as needed again this yr. so should I stop mowing in July?

Open to ideas! Excited to see what it turns into
Foxtail should not be an issue in year 2. The natives shouldn't be burned until fully established so too early for that. Lots of chemical options too in other threads.

Osenbaugh Seeds had something in their newsletter that really stuck with me. 1st year, prairies sleep. 2nd year they creep. 3rd year they leap!
Most of your plants are putting down roots during year 1 and yr 2. Then it jumps. But most of your species in cp2 are fire loving species. Burning during dormant season will help grass species increase stem density. So if you want more grass then burn in dormant season. If you want more diversity from legume and wildflowers the don't burn in year 2. Burning once every few years does not encourage diversity. You need to strip/block disk at different times of year for diversity.
Timing of the mowing is strategic and makes a huge difference. I mow medium height early & once the natives are germinated I mow high but I only hit them once or twice when growing. Want to make sure sunlight always there to plants. So about late July- I let them go nuts. If managed right- 1st year they can be 4-5' tall with seed heads (1 or 2 stems, tall but very spindly). Even Osenbaughs doesn't think this can happen but it can ;). My stands are 4-5' tall 1st year with seed heads. This was late August or early sept I think. The ones that are shorter- I was not able to time mowings exactly right and did get smothered by some different weeds so I had to be more aggressive. It's honestly not that big of deal trying to get tall plants 1st year. Yep, their main energy is root systems 1st year but if u learn when they germinate and learn the weeds your against (when they flourish and when they die and how tall they get) - you could have tall stuff year 1. I did a lot of sunflowers too in this pic, just to mix it up. This field was more for forbs. Those were insane. I noticed them maybe starting in July sometime??? By September- above my head. The ones that deer didn't eat the heck out of (learned this year they loved the type i planted). My predominantly native stands look like this Blue stem too though- about 4-5' tall but 1st year they are spindling & not super bulky at base- obvious it's 1st year growth. Will fill out this next year.

Year 2.... u could interseed only if u don't have lots of plants. But if u do have lots, maybe mow once in May for example. Also- ur flowers like Susan's will be growing earlier so try and balance not chopping them too short or when they are flourishing. Just keep close tabs on plantings. Lot of ways to do it. I'll stop now so I don't ramble on a novel of bordom & ideas on how u can do it. :)


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