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Gardeners' Journal

The following journal notes are recorded by SBBG Gardeners, Riley Kriebel and Jason Nelson as part of the Meadow Revival Project at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden. This collection of notes from our Gardeners will be recorded for the duration of the project timeline, 2013 to 2015. Do you have specific questions for Riley and Jason regarding the Meadow Revival Project ? Submit your questions here 
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Meadow Revival Project Notes

The project will include a series of prescribed weed control activities including "soil solarization" and "grow/kill" treatments in the summer and autumn months

July 11, 2014

  • Grow/Kill Watering: All irrigation programs for the meadow interior are turned off due to impending herbicide application

July 7, 2014

  • Grow/Kill Watering: Irrigation for the middle interior of the meadow (section 5) is turned off due to ample seed germination and plant growth

June 26, 2014

  • Weed Abatement: Treatment of thatch is completed in the meadow interior.

June 25, 2014

  • Weed Abatement: Treatment of thatch continues in the meadow interior
  • Grow/Kill Watering: Irrigation system in the meadow interior is programmed to run 3 times daily at 9:00, 17:00 and 0:00 for a duration of 10 minutes per cycle. Soil moisture will be continuously monitored throughout the day. In addition to the irrigation program, watering will be augmented in any instances in which the soil appears to be too dry for seed germination at the discretion of Meadow gardeners.

June 24, 2014

  • Weed Abatement: Treatment of thatch in the meadow interior begins using a combination of weed-whacking and rider mower. In the majority of instances thatch is left on the soil surface after being cut down and chopped up. Thatch removal occurs only in areas in which it may be too thick for seed germination to occur.

June 12, 2014

  • Herbicide Application: 1.1. 4 gallons of a 4% solution of Aquamaster with added surfactant applied to all bindweed in the meadow interior; due to mechanical difficulties this procedure was continued and finished on Sunday 6/15.

June 11, 2014

  • Meadow Irrigation: All interior irrigation programs are turned off due to wildflower decline and impending grow-kill treatments. Any occurrences in irrigation of the meadow interior are in order to facilitate with hand weeding of non-native annuals
  • Weed Abatement: Hand weeding of the following species is taking place before grow-kill treatments commence in order to prevent these species from going to seed. In addition to this seed removal from the soil surface is being done by hand and reverse-blower vacuum. See “Weed Abatement” notes from 3/9/2014 for a list of targeted species. In addition, the following specie is now being targeted: Polygonum aviculare (Knotweed). It should be noted that for the first time Centaurea solstitialis (Yellow Star thistle) has expressed itself in the Meadow (source: Jason Nelson)

May 26, 2014

  • All irrigation units for the meadow interior are turned off; borders are kept at twice per week for 25 minutes

March 26, 2014 - 2014 Spring Wildflowers!

image of Spring wildflowers in the Meadow, Santa Barbara Botanic Garden, March 2014 ~ Photo by Tricia Wardlaw

March 24, 2014

      • Wildlfower Bloom Schedule (to date): Layia glandulosa (White Layia) begins week of 2/24, Lasthenia californica (CA Goldfields) begins week of 3/3, Lupinus succulentus (Succulent lupine) begins week of 3/10, and Layia platyglossa (Tidy Tips) begins week of 3/17

March 10, 2014

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: All irrigation units are returned to a watering schedule of twice per week for 15 minutes. Additional hand watering is utilized when necessary

March 9, 2014

  • Weed Abatement: Despite completing numerous grow-kill cycles between June and August of 2014 there is still a large seed bank of weeds in the meadow. The areas with high concentrations of weeds are being dealt with by hand-weeding. While the weed species listed below are not the only ones existing in the meadow, they are the most prevalent and persistant: Melilotus officinalis (Yellow sweetclover), Capsella bursa-pastoris (Sheperd's Purse), Lepidium coronopus (Swine Cress), and Veronica arvensis (Speedwell)

February 10, 2014

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Irrigation frequency decreased to twice a week for 15 minutes

January 27, 2014

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Irrigation frequency decreased to twice a week for 15 minutes

January 20, 2014

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Irrigation frequency decreased to once every other day for 15 minutes

December 31, 2013

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Irrigation frequency decreased to once per day for 15 minutes in the morning in order to encourage root spreading

December 17, 2013

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Wildflower mix and Lupinus seeds are sown; Lupinus species are sown first and raked in using a landscape rake; A 3 to 1 sand/seed ratio is used for the wildflower mix (which is sown after the Lupinus species)
  • Irrigation: Irrigation system is programmed to run 3 times per day in the morning, afternoon and evening for 15 minutes per cycle

December 15, 2013

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Wildflower mix for Meadow interior is made using the following species and quantities: 3lb Layia platyglossa (tidy tips), 2lb Gilia capitata (blue field gilia), 3lb Lasthenia californica (CA goldfields), 4lb Eschscholzia californica (CA poppy), 2lb Clarkia bottae (Botta's clarkia)
  • In addition to the mix 5 lb Lupinus succulentus (succulent lupine) and 4 lb Lupinus densiflorus are hand-scarified using sandpaper and imbibed in water over night before sowing

December 13, 2013

image of the Garden Meadow with Mylar flash tape installed to deter birds

  • Mylar scare-ribbon was installed to deter birds when wildflower seed is sown next week

December 12, 2013

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Scare-ribbon installed to meadow interior to decrease predation of wildflower seeds and sprouts by birds

December 3-5, 2013

  • Wildflower Seed/Sow: Vermin fencing installed along Eastern meadow border in order to decrease predation of wildflower seeds and sprouts

November 18, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): All interior irrigation sections of meadow are turned off for tilling except for the North Interior, which is left on for bindweed spraying.   Note: the period of watering between 10/22-11/18 was interrupted by irrigation programming/control issues. During this time hand and manual watering were utilized

October 22, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation for lower and middle lawn programmed to run 3 times a day for 15 minutes per cycle

October 17-18: 

  • Grow/Kill (Rototilling) #3: All interior sections of meadow are rototilled (excluding both lawns and upper interior) using a combination of tractor tiller, walking rototiller and hula-hoe

October 18, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation for upper lawn and upper interior programmed to run 3 times a day for 15 minutes per cycle

October 14, 2013

  • Herbicide Application: 2 ½ gallons of a 4% solution of Aquamaster with added surfactant is applied to all Cynodon, Carex and bindweed existing in the interior of the meadow
  • Grow/Kill (Watering): All irrigation systems in the interior of the meadow are turned off due to herbicide application

October 09, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation for upper lawn and upper interior turned on for 3, 15 minute cycles per day

October 07, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation on systems 1 (lower perimeter) & 6 (middle interior) turned off for rototilling
  • Lawn Solarization: Plastic tarps removed from lower lawn. Weeds present beneath transparent tarp: Chamaesyce serpens (prostrate spurge), Cynodon dactylon (Bermuda grass), Portulaca oleracea (purslane), one UNIDENTIFIED species. Weeds present beneath black tarp:

October 02, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation on systems 3 (lower interior) & 8 (upper middle interior) turned off for rototilling

September 17, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): Irrigation program was set to run for a duration of 20 minutes, 3 times a day in the lower, middle and upper-middle meadow treatment areas; at this time no program is set for the upper meadow due to continued plant removal

September 11, 2013

  • Lawn Removal: Removal of upper lawn continued (using tractor)

September 10, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Tilling): Lower meadow was rototilled for grow/kill (using tractor)
  • Grow/Kill (Watering): All sprinkler programs for lower meadow turned 'off'

September 5, 2013

  • Lawn Solarization: Tarps were applied and buried, stapled into ground
  • Grow/Kill (Tilling): Middle Interior meadow rototilled as part of the grow/kill treatment

September 4

  • Lawn Solariazation: Continued application of plastic tarps in treatment area

September 3, 2013

  • Lawn Solarization: Two treatments of 6mm thick plastic tarps were applied, black and transparent (Before tarps were applied, lawns were watered to have a subsurface moisture depth of 12 inches)

August 27, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): All irrigation units kept on same program (except for the middle lower lawn turned off in order to keep soil dry for tractor and truck access)
  • Lawn Removal: Began removal of upper lawn using tractor bucket

August 20, 2013

  • Grow/Kill (Watering): All interior and lawn units were programmed to a twice-daily twenty minute cycle, am/pm (except for the upper lawn)

July 2, 2013

  • Began plant living plant salvage in meadow treatment area

June17, 2013

  • Began hand weeding and weed seed removal of interior meadow