by Carl Strang

Last week I checked the former friary site at Mayslake Forest Preserve. The only seeds that had sprouted from those spread earlier in the season were of a grass, and I found it was flowering.

They proved to be oats. I am not adding that species to the preserve list, because they are a temporary ground cover that will not persist.

Oats were not on the list of species I had been given. I inquired, and found that I had not been given the complete list. The poor showing of other seedlings had been noted, and there will be a re-seeding later.

For now, the oats and a variety of weeds are growing thickly enough on the sloping edge of the site to prevent significant erosion.

The plan, as mentioned earlier, is to get a prairie growing there.



  1. October 4, 2011 at 5:41 pm

    Hi Carl. Based on my experience with prairie seedings, I wouldn’t expect to see much other than oats and/or annual rye (the typical prairie planting cover crop species) in the first year that a site was seeded. You may see Rudbeckia hirta, Coreopsis lanceolata, and Chamaecrista fasciculata pop in the first year, but many of the prairie plants need a winter before their seeds will germinate. Was the site seeded this spring?

    • natureinquiries said,

      October 6, 2011 at 6:06 am

      Thanks, Scott,
      The site was seeded well into the summer. I suspect that one reason for reseeding is that the oats mainly came up around the edges, possibly the result of the summer’s heavy rains washing the seeds out of much of the middle of the site.

  2. January 26, 2012 at 7:04 am

    […] grew a lot of annuals in the late summer and fall, including a number of weedy species, as well as oats. The juncos most often are to be found around the edge of the site, especially here where the […]

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