Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Burn Baby Burn

Yesterday, Naomi and I burnt our small little patch of prairie next to our deck. Now for any of you who do not know, prairie burns are a necessary part of the prairie life cycle. It helps to keep out woody plants and non natives. However do to the smallness and location of this patch of prairie we had to do things a bit different. First we cut down all of the plants and laid them onto the ground. Then we thoroughly wetted down the deck and the side of the house. Then we started the fire with only a match, not drip torches. Then we stood by hose in hand and let the patch burn. We doused with the hose every once in awhile just to stop the fire from burning too hot and scorching the prairie plant roots. Who are normally under the earth and far enough away from the quick moving fire of a normal prairie burn.

No pictures unfortunately but next week I will burning a large patch of prairie next to the school I work at with my students. I will be sure to take pictures of this one.


  1. I had a school garden several years ago and my partner and I planted many prairie and native plants. However, we could not convince the school at that time the necessity of burning the prairie. It went into ruin in subsequent years with every plant known to man including trees taking root in our prairie.

    I am glad hear things have changed with the school system.


  2. Yes, please do take picture!

    I don't have a prairie garden or one available I could burn, but the pics I've seen of some controlled burns look really cool.

  3. I don't know that things have changed in all schools... I still hear about these issues all the time, with prairie gardens being mowed over because the mowers think they're weeds (although some mowing is OK -- it mimics the buffalo grazing. But weekly does wear a plant down). I think school burns are pretty rare, still... we're lucky!