Now that I’m finally moving a little quicker this morning I can make a few notes about the class I attended last night at one of our local libraries. On a side note: This is something I really like about this area. Every little town has its own library. I have 4 libraries within about 10-15 miles in any direction of my house with one of those being at the college. So at any rate I was playing on Facebook the other day and found the largest library’s Facebook page. I “liked” it and not long later a notification showed up about a Waterwise Landscaping Workshop put on by the Nebraska Forest Service, the City of Scottsbluff, and the UNL Extension.
The timing worked out that I could attend after dinner. They have another round going today but I wouldn’t be able to go. It was a pretty interesting talk. They talked about what water costs to the city per year run, discussed rain gardens and showed some that the city has put in, talked about turf care to minimize the amount of water used, and last but not least included a solid list of plants that do well in this area.
One of the best things I took away is that the soil in this area tends to run high on the pH scale. That certainly helps with plant selection. I got some good ideas for some erosion control down at the end of our drive where all the water runs. Additionally the one gal from the Forest Service had some good notes regarding plants that did especially well in this area or that could become invasive if watered too much. While she was editorializing she included the information that while the USDA has classed this area as a Zone 5 recently we are still better off planting to Zone 4 or even a Zone 3 specification as we can still get quite cold. Good to know.
While they were talking they also dropped the information that the Natural Resources District (NRD) provides trees at inexpensive prices. They aren’t kidding. They are to be used for wind breaks. Perfect! That is exactly what I need. We have a wind break on our property but I would like to boost it and replace a couple of the trees that appear to have been lost this last year. Probably due to the drought.
Although the actual talks weren’t really all that exciting (some speakers were better than others) they all held some good information. It makes me that much more excited to get going on our property. I have to keep telling myself to be patient though. We need to give a good year to site analyzing. I want to know where the snow piles up, where water collects, where the wind hits, where the sun blasts the most, where there is always shade, and with that information I want to really think about where I put plants, buildings, drives, and the orchard. I want to make sure any and all animals we have get shade and protection from the wind. I would like to try to provide food for them in the form of plantings as well so they can forage for a lot of their own feed.
The previous owners did a decent job of starting things for us. We have a solid base to work from. That is part of what sold me on the place. They left enough though that we can modify to our own needs and wants.
Last but not least here is a photo of one of the little seedlings we got for free from the NRD for Earth Day.