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DanH 03-26-2012 06:51 PM

Personal Restoration Project
Hey everybody. In hopes of keeping fresh material cycling through here I figured I would share my new restoration project with you. I have worked with the National Park Service off and on for a couple years now, learning a lot about native plant propagation and restoration in the process. One of the most rewarding aspects of the work is seeing the success stories of restoration. Walking through a restoration site that has survived the difficult first couple of years and become established is just awesome! The habitat now appears so much more complex and beautiful, compared to the field of weedy, non-native species it used to be.
Last summer I decided to start my own little restoration project in Agoura (Southern California). The site I chose was once heavily grazed by cattle, and now remains as a weedy grassland with large patches mustard. My intent is to contain a giant monoculture of Brassica nigra, which you can see in this photo as dead stalks from last year.

I collected seed from two dominate native species that grow nearby: Artemisia californica and Salvia leucophylla. Seeds were sown in flats during September 2011. By January of this year I had 26 little plants that were ready to start their fight in the real world. I placed oak mulch around each one and am now praying for as much rain as possible to get them ready for summer. When I can, I get out there to pull weeds and mow down the encroaching mustard.

Salvia leucophylla

Artemisia californica

DanH 03-26-2012 06:54 PM

I also have some new plants in production for another planting this fall/winter. I just bumped up 32 seedlings to larger containers and am hoping to have some larger plants this go around.

Some other species of interest to me are Malacothamnus fasciculatus, Isocoma menziesii, and Eriogonum fasciculatus. They are all extremely common in the vicinity. This project is really just turning into a great excuse to grow plants. :D

terrestrial_man 03-27-2012 10:48 AM

Looks great. Are there any native grass species in the area or are they all just introduced species?

DanH 03-27-2012 03:11 PM


Originally Posted by terrestrial_man (Post 5352)
Looks great. Are there any native grass species in the area or are they all just introduced species?

Actually, yeah! There is a really nice patch of Nassella pulchra only about 100 feet away. I should consider growing some. I have heard that grasses can be very difficult, as herbivores will devour them. But I have grown Nassella before and the stuff is ridiculously easy and fast to grow. It might be worth a shot.

terrestrial_man 03-30-2012 12:18 PM

Was wondering, what is growing under the Quercus, presuming agrifolia?

DanH 03-31-2012 05:07 PM

Hmmm, I don't recall exactly what is growing under them. I do remember there being quite a few young bush mallow plants coming up under their canopy, but not sure about the thistle.

terrestrial_man 08-27-2012 08:19 PM

Hi Dan, any updates on your project? Images? Please share, thanks.

Lorraine 07-31-2016 03:33 PM

Did you grow any of the Malacothamnus? What percent germination did you get growing it from seed? Did you treat the seed prior to planting?

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