Friday, February 29, 2008

Garden Diary: To Burn or Not to Burn?

I ordered a flame gun this winter and want to use it on my grasses. In years past, I've cut the grasses into two-inch pieces and left them in place as a mulch. This year, to reduce the labor, and to adopt a practice more appropriate to a prairie, I want to burn them. When I do that, I'll face at least two months looking out at charred and shredded "biomass." Not a sight I want to contemplate. This morning about an hour after sunrise, I saw this Chasmantheum latifolium, with its spangles of seed heads. Still quite attractive. I suppose I should just load up on novels and gardening books, put my flame gun into action, and plan to do a lot more reading until spring comes. If I wait much longer, the new growth will emerge, and burning will be out of the question.

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