Sunday, June 28, 2009

Oh, Quack!

"Go away and come back in three years." That's what my contact at Ion Exchange told me when I shared my concern about the quack grass taking over my prairie garden. I'm sure he gets calls all the time from impatient prairie garden owners.

But really. Have they seen my quack grass problem? I sent photos. No response. It's only been a week, but the quack grass is more aggressive by the day. This photo was taken before it got bad!

I walked into the garden again today. Searching for any plant that might be one of the seeds I so optimistically scattered a month ago. Though I didn't see anything at first glance, more careful study - on my hands and knees - revealed much more. Each time I found a tiny seedling, I pinched back the quack grass, aiming to give my newest baby a bit of sunlight and breathing room. No pulling or I could pull out the prairie plant as well.

But we're talking 2,400 sq. ft. Pinching quack grass leaves over the entire area is impractical, at best. And perhaps the seedlings are stronger than the quack grass. I just don't know.

My new garden is teaching me many things - to slow down and look closely and to have more patience. It's also teaching me what a control freak I am. As if I didn't already know that. I want to DO something. Instead, I may need to just let nature do what it will do on its own.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good News/Bad News - June Prairie Garden Update

It's been almost a month since I sowed the seeds of my prairie garden. (This picture shows the spot before planting.) The last four weeks have been a good news/bad news story.

Good news: It's rained regularly, giving the seeds a really good start.
Bad news: Most of what is growing is crab grass. Some areas are almost solid.

Good news: Crab grass is easy to pull out and can be pulled easily when it is small.
Bad news: I can't be sure each of these little plants is really crab grass and not some unfamiliar new prairie plant.
More Bad news: When/if I pull up the grass, I could at the same time dislodge a fragile prairie plant.

I am impatient by nature. As I walk by the prairie area, my inclination is to pull out one or a dozen or a hundred little grass plants. I want to pick at them like I would at a scab. This may not be the best course. Maybe this is an expected stage of prairie restoration. Maybe I just need to be calm and wait and see.

I have called my friends at Ion Exchange to get their advice. When they let me know, I'll let you know.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Great Intel Ad

I spend far more time complaining about TV ads than praising them, but I just saw a new Intel ad I must applaud. The ad spotlights Ajay Bhatt, co-inventor of the USB, and uses the tagline "Your rock stars aren't like our rock stars." For once an ad that is intelligent, subtle, funny, and thought provoking. The music doesn't overwhelm. The visuals pull you in and keep you there. And it made me think about something I use daily but no doubt under appreciate - the USB port. All while reminding me that Intel brought this technology to the party. Great job, Intel! If you haven't seen it yet, click here to see it on YouTube