Thirty-five years and many acres after planting his first patch of prairie flowers, Carl Kurtz is considered one of the deans of the great tallgrass prairie revival. The Prairie Enthusiast called the 2001 edition of his book a "readable and understandable introduction to prairie and the general steps in carrying out a reconstruction." Now this second edition reflects his increased experience with reconstructing and restoring prairie grasslands.
Kurtz has completely revised every chapter of the first edition, from site selection and harvest to soil preparation, seeding, postplanting mowing, burning, and growth and development. He has written new chapters on establishing prairie in old pastureland and on the judicious use of herbicides, including a table that shows particular problem species, the types of herbicides that are most effective at controlling them, and the timing and method of treatment. New photographs illustrate species and steps, and Kurtz has expanded the question-and-answer section and updated A Practical Guide to Prairie Reconstructions and the section on midwestern seed sources and services. Tallgrass prairie is critical wildlife habitat and an important element in flood control and stream water treatment. The process of reconstructing and restoring prairie grasslands has made great strides in recent decades. Carl Kurtz's indispensable, step-by-step guide to creating a diverse and well-established prairie community provides both directions and encouragement for individual landowners as well as land managers working with government agencies and nonprofit organizations that have taken up the task of reconstructing and restoring native grasslands.
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Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa and provide a source for local-ecotype prairie seed.