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Center for Natural Capital Virginia Wildlife Habitat Cooperative

Using Mechanical Burning to Coax Native Warm Season Soil Bank Seed Germination in Cool Season Pastures

For a client in the Gordonsville, Virginia area we took 2 acres of a cool season pasture and burned it with the mechanical burner 2x in the Spring to see what diversity we could coax from the seed bank. Results are Purple Lovegrass, Indian Grass, and lots of Little Bluestem. For wildflowers – Ironweed and Wingstem appeared. To think that these species were sitting in the seed bank waiting for the right conditions, and with no external seed added, they appear, fully grown in their first year – that’s amazing for these habitat projects. Now I’m not saying that this is going to happen for every project, but it was nice to get lucky on this site. In the images below we show part of the burn area and Staff Amber Jenkins and Myron Neuhauser with some of our patches of new warm seasons.