The garden is alive with a variety of flowers blooming right now! Unfortunately amongst all of the prairie foliage there will always be a few weeds that work their way in. The brome grass has been a particular nuisance this past summer, and proves very difficult to eliminate. Brome grass is an invasive species that came over to North America from Europe in the 1800’s, and it was originally meant to be grown as forage for livestock. It reproduces mainly by sending out underground stems called rhizomes, and because of this it can be quite difficult to get rid of. You have to pull up a large quantity of the roots and rhizomes if you want to make a significant impact on it.
We are currently in the process of trying to “reclaim” the garden from the invasive brome grass. With the help of volunteers in July, we were able to get rid of some of the grass, and it continues to receive care on a day by day basis throughout the summer. Because of donations from Chet Neufeld of the Native Plant Society of Saskatchewan, and Janet McVittie contributing additional plants, native plant species have been able to replace bare patches where the brome grass has been removed.
The last volunteer weeding day of the summer was this past Sunday, and with the help of our volunteers we were able to cut back the rose bushes that were becoming quite overgrown as well as take on more of the invasive grass. The Prairie Habitat Garden is appreciative of everyone who has donated their time to help out with the maintenance of the garden this summer. Your contributions help to keep the garden healthy and beautiful. Sources: Invasive Plants of Natural Habitats in Canada, http://www.grandriver.ca/forestry/invasives.pdf