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Old 03-22-2019, 08:04 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
10,582 posts, read 5,821,121 times
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As I was walking back from getting the mail the other day, it hit me (again) the diversity of plant life on the ranch.....and how I really ought to get to know about it, be able to identify it, even know what it is good for.


So how does one do that? Check out the library, check out half price books, maybe there is a local group into it, maybe Mr. Kimble (the county extension agent) knows, take a class, free or for credit, on the local fauna, hire an expert to come out and tell you what you have?


Any other thoughts of sure fire, maybe quicker, on the spot ways?
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Virginia
4,330 posts, read 2,261,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
As I was walking back from getting the mail the other day, it hit me (again) the diversity of plant life on the ranch.....and how I really ought to get to know about it, be able to identify it, even know what it is good for.


So how does one do that? Check out the library, check out half price books, maybe there is a local group into it, maybe Mr. Kimble (the county extension agent) knows, take a class, free or for credit, on the local fauna, hire an expert to come out and tell you what you have?


Any other thoughts of sure fire, maybe quicker, on the spot ways?
Your local county extension agent is your best starting point. After that, I'd see if there are any Master Gardeners holding plant clinics in your area, say at farmers markets on Saturdays. I'd also recommend taking a home landscaping class, or even the Master Gardener course if you can devote the hours required afterwards for service to the community.
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:31 AM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
10,582 posts, read 5,821,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bungalove View Post
Your local county extension agent is your best starting point. After that, I'd see if there are any Master Gardeners holding plant clinics in your area, say at farmers markets on Saturdays. I'd also recommend taking a home landscaping class, or even the Master Gardener course if you can devote the hours required afterwards for service to the community.

I see here and there threads of "gardening" but is that what we are talking about with 10+ acres of wild, rolling countryside? One of the things of my home is to change the landscape as little as possible.


Part of that is because I have dreams of making this a preserve for wild life, in part a fantasy image of a Little Red Riding Hood Witch,............... and probably a big part is that I'm just down and out lazy.


So does the course change when the focus is to keep things wild?
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Old 03-22-2019, 08:58 AM
 
Location: S. FL (hell for me-wife loves it)
3,302 posts, read 2,120,623 times
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I think Bungalove gave some excellent suggestions.
I would add, you could also look up texas (dot-gov) type websites. I find when wanting to learn more about my local (native) fauna and flora, Florida state gov. websites offer up oodles of info, and photos to help you identify.
You can also try looking up some herbal websites. They often help with knowledge of the plants' Native American useage, if that interests you. Here's a couple of links I found that may help.

https://ftp.dot.state.tx.us/pub/txdo...s_brochure.pdf

https://www.herbsociety.org/

https://www.foragingtexas.com/2008/08/arrowroot_20.html

*The last one, he is trying to promote his book. But if you use the links to actual plants on the far left, he has plenty of interesting info. To identify any that you are interested in, copy and paste the name of the plant, and go to Google images.

Hope this helps Ms. Tamara
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:00 PM
 
Location: Virginia
4,330 posts, read 2,261,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
I see here and there threads of "gardening" but is that what we are talking about with 10+ acres of wild, rolling countryside? One of the things of my home is to change the landscape as little as possible.


Part of that is because I have dreams of making this a preserve for wild life, in part a fantasy image of a Little Red Riding Hood Witch,............... and probably a big part is that I'm just down and out lazy.


So does the course change when the focus is to keep things wild?
Not really. if you're trying to learn about the soils and he existing flora, the county extension agent can give you soil testing kits so that you know what type and pH soils you already have. That will help you if you should decide on adding any native plantings. He can identify any samples of vegetation that you bring in, especially if you should experience any problems with your shrubs, trees, etc. Just because you want to keep the landscape "natural" doesn't mean you want to neglect it either, you know. Diseases and non-beneficial insect infestations need to be addressed to keep your landscape in good shape so it will best support the wildlife. The extension agent will also be able to give you a good list of native plantings that will provide good sources of food and shelter for birds and critters if you want to plant additional shrubs, trees, or
perennials.
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Old 03-22-2019, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Cumberland Co., TN
22,957 posts, read 22,323,362 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TamaraSavannah View Post
I see here and there threads of "gardening" but is that what we are talking about with 10+ acres of wild, rolling countryside? One of the things of my home is to change the landscape as little as possible.


Part of that is because I have dreams of making this a preserve for wild life, in part a fantasy image of a Little Red Riding Hood Witch,............... and probably a big part is that I'm just down and out lazy.


So does the course change when the focus is to keep things wild?
Get Peterson's Guides (plants, trees, etc.) or other field guides to start out in the identification of plants.
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Old 03-22-2019, 04:48 PM
 
Location: Sacramento area
7 posts, read 6,509 times
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Maybe check your local chapter of your native plant society? Ours always has meetings, field trips, plant sales, etc. that I keep meaning to go to They'd probably be thrilled to help if you tell them you want to encourage native plants and wildlife. They could probably also direct you to other helpful resources. Plant people tend to be pretty passionate about the subject
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Old 03-22-2019, 05:49 PM
 
Location: Backwoods of Maine
7,216 posts, read 8,384,482 times
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Find out if there are any naturalists in the area - often there will be, even if just an older person who is or was active in local garden clubs. Invite them over for lunch, then go for a walk on the property. Bring a bag of popsicle sticks and a marker with you. As plants are identified, write it's name on a stick, and push it into the ground near the plant. This will help you remember what it is later, when they are gone.

I'm certain there are older people there who have a wealth of knowledge, just waiting to share with a new friend who invites them over. Otherwise, it just dies with them.
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Old 03-22-2019, 06:37 PM
 
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I've always used online resources to read about native plants, like this one: Plants native to the Pacific Northwest
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Old 03-22-2019, 07:07 PM
 
Location: Texas Hill Country
963 posts, read 535,020 times
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Having spent quite a lot of time on various Texas plant websites and owning a shelf of native plants books, I vote most heartily for you linking up with a local master gardener/naturalist. Being able to identify the plants right then, then labelling them, will go a long way toward your goal. That person may also be able to identify invasive species that you'll want to get rid of and replace with native or naturalized plants the local fauna will appreciate.

That's what we did, after taking several Native Plants 101 classes by our county master gardeners. Now we're working on ridding our acreage of some nasty invasives and encouraging the native plants to fill in. Seems to be making our deer, butterflies, and hummingbirds happy, and it really looks nice. (We only mow it once a year, in January, unless it's real dry, and then we mow for wildfire mitigation.)
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