Native Warm Season Grass

Discussion in 'Dbltree's corner' started by dbltree, Jan 12, 2006.

  1. DannyBoy

    DannyBoy Well-Known Member

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    Perfect time Landon! We held back 40 acres of super diverse wrp seed til now.

    Keep in mind how your management affects what the prairie looks like. Don't seed the tall natives heavily like skip said, or they will outcompete the forbs no matter what. Also, late spring burns will give grasses the advantage, as the forbs green up quicker (generally), followed by short natives (little blue, side oats, etc) and finally your tall grasses. Early spring/late winter burns rock and patchy is ok, like often happens this time of year with greasy ground and higher relative humidity. Fall burns, even better, but you're obviously sacrificing some cover for the winter in you do it that way. Don't burn all at once if you go that route, and I like end of November for fall burns.

    As for the shrubs, they will be most beneficial to wildlife with bare ground or at a minimum, sparse vegetation underneath. I choose to spray the ground beneath them almost annually... Spring or fall, when they are dormant and grasses are not. Helps keep fires out and after about two growing seasons, they are fairly tolerant anyways. Quail will love if you disk/spray around your shrubs in the fall, to encourage annual broadleaf weeds like ragweed, their number 1 food source.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
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  3. streitl

    streitl New Member

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    I did my first NWSG seeding earlier this winter when I put in 8 acres of pure switch. I did it in the snow using my UTV and broadcast spreader. It worked out pretty well.

    I did my second ever yesterday. This 5 acres was a more diverse mix of grasses and wildflowers, I believe it fell under the CP-25 mix.

    The list of species is below.
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    I again used the broadcast spreader.
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    To get the seed to "flow" I mixed in floor dry - available from any auto parts store. This allowed the "fluffy" seed to flow out of the spreader and get flung out. The seed I bought came in one giant bag, so I divided it into six 5 gallon pails. Then I dumped one 5 gallon pail into the a big plastic bin, and added one bag of floor dry. I mixed them together and loaded it into the spreader.
    Fluffy seed by itself
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    Seed Mixed with Floor Dry
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    I had to make quite a few passes, as I kept the opening on the spreader about 1/2 open. I'm sure it's different on every spreader. I mostly wanted to avoid having no seed left and only half the field covered. Because the seed is expensive. On a side note, I was able to get the seed half price with a voucher through Prairie Partners - a DNR program for native grass plantings.
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    This was all done in a standing bean field that was left for the deer. Hopefully it all takes well. I'm sure I'll have to do some clipping/mowing throughout the summer to keep the weeds from getting too carried away.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2015
  4. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Man, that looks great!! I think I'm going to have to try mixing in some cat litter in with some fluffy big blue and indian grass seed I hand picked a few years ago and want to get seeded. Sounds like it worked great for you!

    I posted this on Outreach Outdoors and wanted to share it here as well...

    Ideally when seeding NWSG you would use a drill but it can be done without. Tonight I seeded some big blue stem on 5 acres. A month ago I seeded this area with Cave-in-rock switch grass and now I'm seeding in some Big Blue stem. The frost is coming out of the ground quickly and it's slick and greasy on these south facing hillsides. Makes for some tough walking with the seeder, but with some rains or snows and the continue freezing/thawing cycles the next few weeks this seed will hopefully break dormancy and make good seed to soil contact and grow.

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    I had two different sources of the "fluffy" seed I was trying to seed. One source was some big blue stem seed I purchased from Osenbaughs and the other was some seed we had collected a 3-4 years ago and has been in storage since. I'm confident it is still good, just might not have as high of germination rate but still will grow some NWSG.
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    These fluffy seeds don't go through bag type broadcast seeders very well, some say mixing fertilizer or cat litter with the fluffy seed with help it flow through these type of seeders but I've yet to try that.
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    Instead, if you can find a hand seeder designed for fluffy NWSG seeds like the one in these pictures, you'll be happy with how they work! Obviously they don't sling seed a long ways, you can only throw a light weight, tiny, fluffy seed so far. So if you're hoping for complete coverage you'll want to make many passes and do it from both directions, N to S and then E to W for example.

    The first batch of seed I tried in the seeder was the seed we had hand picked. And it didn't work very well. The seed clumped up and the feeder, even with it's wheels in it that are designed to pull the seed through, wasn't able to feed the seed through. You see, the trouble is this wasn't cleaned seed. Cleaned as in the type of seed you would buy from a seed dealer like Osenbaugh. So I threw out the first batch of seed and let the wind take it to its final home and then filled the seeder with the seed from Osenbaugh. It was easy to see the difference between cleaned seed (the stuff in the seeder in the picture below) vs uncleaned seed.
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    It worked out much much better! The seeder was able to pull the seed through and spread it perfectly. The next few batches I put some Cave-in-rock switch grass into the small seed compartment on the seeder and went to walkin'!
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    There isn't a cover of snow on the ground any longer but there's still plenty of moisture and with the lows during the night going below freezing the freeze-thaw cycles needed to help break the seed coat and break its dormancy will be happening for a while yet. And plenty of time for the seed to work it's way down to the soil
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  5. bwese

    bwese Active Member

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    loesshills, great pics and story to go with them. Do you think you will get good seed/soil contact with that stubble/thatch still present? The reason I ask is that I have some areas like that I want to seed with big blue but am thinking I won't get good soil/seed contact.
     
  6. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    If you don't have a drill.... You could lightly disc it up now. Or, another option would be to mow it as close to the dirt as you can. Of course if you can burn it, there's a 3rd option. might be ok above. could run over above with a cultipacker too. Lots of options and ways to do this.
     
  7. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Ya, I'm not sure we will. That's my biggest concern right now. I'm thinking about getting the cultipacker out and running it all over. I was hoping for some more snow and rain to get it pushed down but doesn't look like that is going to happen any time soon unfortunately. Maybe tmrw I can get out there with the packer and drive around.

    I am pretty confident the switch seeds I broadcasted in early February on top of the snow had a great chance of making it down to the soil though. So we will have some of the grasses sprout this spring yet. Some seed might lay there until next year before sprouting. Ideally we'd get a drill in there to do this planting or have broadcasted the seed with some snow cover or even last fall. But we'll see how this works out and we'll be sure to share some pics throughout the summer!
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2015
  8. Sligh1

    Sligh1 Administrator Staff Member

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    Right, I kinda meant for the next guy doing it before he puts seed down (burning, lightly discing, etc, stuff before he puts seed down). I think you're right with what you're doing now, I'd cultipack it. It can't hurt. I think that probably will help. Kinda guessing & just thinking out loud but that's likely what I'd do. Switch obviously will make it down no problem. Packing those fuffies closer to the soil or getting some to it immediately sure isn't going to hurt of course.
     
  9. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Snapped some pics of an area we frost seeded CIR switch, indian, and big blue stem into. This is the first time we've established natives and done a fall kill of the smooth brome. So far it is clear the huge advantages of fall killing the brome before seeding. We mowed in late Oct last year and had the local co-op spray it with Gly and OustXP on Nov 1st with their large sprayer, so easy and well worth the cost.
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    There is nothing greening up in here. Compare that to the brome greening up on the terrace.
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    In the distance, on the left, in this picture you can see a green hillside... that's a hill we planted to switch a few years back and attempted to do a spring kill on the brome. We burned in early March, seeded switch, let the brome green up and sprayed gly in late April. There is a TON of switch in there and it gets very thick... but the brome has taken over some areas and if left unmanaged I'm sure it'd continue to choke out the entire stand of switch. Just an example how trying to spring kill a cool season grass hasn't worked for us. It always comes back to haunt us and trying to mess with killing it later. Fall killing the cool season grasses is the way to go!
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  10. MN Hunter

    MN Hunter Active Member

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    Great pics! Are you going to also spray gly and atrazine this spring?
     
  11. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Yes we will, just waiting for the co-op to come out and do it! :)
     
  12. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What do they charge per acre just out of curiosity?
     
  13. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Last fall we had them spray 5 acres with just round-up and it was just under $100, including chemical. It would likely be different depending on what chemicals you wanted. Considering it was done right and we could spend time doing other projects, it was worth it we thought.
     
  14. Daver

    Daver PMA Member

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    FWIW, similarly, I have had the local coop spray roundup for me too in previous years and it was right around $19-$20/acre, so there seems to be some consistency there in terms of pricing from different areas of the state.

    The only issue that we had is that their sprayers have a huge "wingspan" and understandably, they don't want to have to spray small plots as they can't be very efficient with big equipment and small plots. Also, they are not interested in fields with "obstacles" like volunteer trees, etc, as that will catch on their equipment, etc.

    I can't remember exactly, but I think they wanted to have a minimum width of 60'???? You might want to ask them about that. But other than that, as Jordan said...they'll do it right and save you a bunch of time on an ATV, or with a backpack, sprayer and it was well worth it.
     
  15. IowaBowHunter1983

    IowaBowHunter1983 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    ....OK....took me a week reading this thread in bits and pieces, but I read every single post all the way back to it's inception in 2006. Nothing like 9 years of information!

    I have some perfect spots for Eastern Gamagrass (low areas that can have standing water for a week or more at a time) It was mentioned that it could be planted with a corn planter (4-5 years ago in this thread...haha). Has anyone ever tried that method? It seems the row spacing would be fine, but the plants themselves would too close together in the rows.
     
  16. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    I posted this picture in the switchgrass page but thought I'd share it here as well. This past spring I was applying Oust XP and Gly to some switchgrass and ran a pass across an area with lots of remnant prairie grasses in it. Mainly big blue, little blue, and side oats. Cool to see the effect the chemical had on the brome and how it released the native grasses! Brome is nasty in our area and can quickly take over any native grass stands. Fire is a great way to control it but what we've learned is that combining fire and timely applications of Oust XP and Gly you can knock the brome back much harder.
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  17. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    I'll be trying that. Looks great.
     
  18. LoessHillsArcher

    LoessHillsArcher Well-Known Member

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    Cool, let us know your results! I've never done this on a large area just because we don't have any huge areas of remnant prairie but I'd like to try it on some cedar ridge tops where the native grasses are still there but need released from the brome, just some small areas.

    I should also add that when you spray the Oust XP and gly in the spring you're likely going to smoke any native forbs/flowers in there. Just a heads up to anyone thinking about trying this. :)
     
  19. goatman

    goatman I hunt days ending in Y

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    When I used to spray ROW's with Tordon K and Escort I would see more native grass release which each trip. Rotation was every 3 years. Its there in alot of places. Mix was grass friendly so just getting rid of woody plants and broadleaves helped.
     
  20. Jbohn

    Jbohn Active Member

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    Just planted a Mix of BB and CIR/ Kanlow that was wet chilled for 15 days , Then 7 inches of rain not sure how this is going to turn out but I am thinking bad.. LOL always something.. :)
     
  21. streitl

    streitl New Member

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    I had a neighbor with a batwing mower come over this morning and mow my NWSG planting. I seeded it all down in march of this year. A lot of weeds had grown up, but the wildlife was using it quite a bit. Depending on what we get for moisture, I'll probably need him to come back a couple more times this summer to help keep the weeds down.
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