Thursday, December 5, 2013

Seeding for Spring

 Post contributed by Anna Hersh, Saint Paul's Seasonal Natural Resources Technician:

Shannon seeding at the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom.
As winter weather sets in (we're seeing snow now, not just cold temperatures), the Natural Resources Team of the Saint Paul Parks & Recreation Department is scurrying around trying to get those last few outdoor projects crossed of their lists. One such project this week was frost seeding, which involves sowing seeds after a frost or before a big snow. The continual freezing and thawing of the ground throughout the winter allows the seeds to work their way into the soil. Once the snow settles on top of them, they are protected from hungry birds and other animals. Then, when spring arrives, the seeds will already be in the ground and ready to sprout.
Seeding at Eastside Heritage Park.

We set out yesterday morning with a truck load of native grass and forb seeds that were collected by volunteers and the Minnesota Conservation Corps earlier in the year. We had a long list to accomplish and a wide variety of seeds to sow, including Little Bluestem, Canada Wild Rye, and Blue Gramma. With the forecast showing a large winter storm coming that night, we wanted to get as much seeding done as possible. We spent the whole day outside and completed our entire list! Indian Mounds Park, the Como Woodland Outdoor Classroom, Bruce Vento Nature Sanctuary, Upper Landing Park, Eastside Heritage Park, and Ames Lake all were seeded with a variety of native plants to help restore the local plant community. We finished up with a sense of accomplishment and snow in our hair. Can you really think of a better way to spend the day?