This wet year has brought much needed moisture to California. The native plants love the moisture; so do the invasive plants. In particular, the park has invasive grasses from the Avena, Bromus, Loleum, and Hordeum genera. These sun-loving grasses germinate with the onset of rains, grow to form a thick carpet, and choke out the slower growing native seedlings. They seed prolifically before drying up and dying in late spring.
One of the most effective ways to control these invasive annuals is to smother them with a layer of woodchips. This denies them sunlight without which they cannot grow. The chips, if laid 6-8″ thick, will last about 5 years before decomposing to form rich compost.
On Sunday, January 10, 2016, a team from Piedmont Hills High Red Cross Club helped us do just that. They mulched weedy grass areas near the parking lot entrance to the native garden. They worked on both sides of the accessible path, and when they were done, the weedy lawns had been covered up nicely.
This will help the native plants in the area get established; when they grow large enough to cast their own shade, they will need less help from us in controlling invasive annuals.
Thanks to all for a terrific workday.