Winter update: The best laid plans....

Our pollinator habitat is effectively split into 3 parts: 1) The dry part that was planted last year, 2) the dry part that wasn't planted last year, because it was accidentally planted in corn, and 3) the wet part.   Parts 2 and 3 still need to get planted, and it is driving us nuts not having the seeds in the ground.  First, they can't grow if they aren't planted, and second, it is really unnerving having thousands of dollars of seeds in a freezer in your garage.  They have made it thus far, but I am not confident that the mice and moisture will be held at bay forever.   

We haven't been able to plant the part with corn, because the stubble is too thick - the seeds need to have good contact with the soil.  The plan is now to plow that in the spring, and then try to get the seeds in between April and June.  That section is really dry, so rain shouldn't be an issue.  

 Too much corn stubble to spread seed through - one more disc/ soil prep before we spread the seeds in this section of the dry prairie site. 

Too much corn stubble to spread seed through - one more disc/ soil prep before we spread the seeds in this section of the dry prairie site. 

The wet site was all prepped, and we were waiting for the right conditions to do winter planting - we were going to spread the seed on frozen ground right before a snow, during in a cycle of freeze thaw.  We would drive when the ground was frozen, the snow would protect the seeds from foraging birds, and when it thawed/melted, the seeds would be drawn into the ground.  It would have worked just fine if it hadn't been a year where we got thunderstorms in February, rather than a nice snow with frozen ground.   There just wasn't a period where we could drive the tractor through the wet muck. The land became saturated, and a few acres have been fully underwater almost all winter. The ducks have been plentiful, and the dogs have loved running through the new 'ponds', but we can't plant into water.   The current plan is to get seed in around the wet areas, and plant where we can. The concern is that if we leave it all, and wait until it is dry to do the whole site, there will be too many weeds this year.   Then, as the water recedes, we will go back through and hand spread through the areas where there is standing water.   Why plant once, when you can plant 4 times?      

Our wetland is a little too wet right now.  Ducks love to land here, and the dogs love to race through it (note the crazed animals in the upper right).