Deer Pea Vetch for Quail Habitat

Deer Pea Vetch is an annual plant that grows close to the ground with long stems.  It seems to prefer areas where there is not a lot of competition for soil or sunlight.  It is also one of the first forbs we see bloom in the Spring.  It has lavender-bluish flower that are quite small.  It also slightly resembles a very young mesquite tree or sensitive briar with it’s very similar leaf sets.  Deer pea vetch leaves and seeds are very valuable and nutritious for wildlife.  It is also very valuable in improving the soil through it’s nitrogen fixation.

Quail Habitat Improvement

Approximately 50% of the ranch is covered with non-native King Ranch Bluestem which was planted in the 1950s after the invasive and non-native Ashe Juniper (Cedar) trees were cleared to prevent soil erosion.  We are in the process of taking numerous steps to improve the habitat to return it to it’s previous natural state.  Identifying and then cultivating the natural plants, trees and forbs is the first of many steps in this process.