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Native Warm Season Grass

dbltree

Super Moderator
Native Warm Season Grass plantings are beautiful and provide great nesting and bedding areas and a diverse environment for all types of wildlife.



There are several options for establishing NWSG stands but the method I prefer and by which I have established all my own stands, is dormant/frost seeding in Feb./March. You can easily establish small areas of NWSG with nothing more then a hand seeder, backpack sprayer and burning.

I start the year before by first mowing or haying the area in late summer and then killing the sod with roundup in late September.

A no-till drill is an excellent and accurate method of planting into killed sod even on frozen ground in late winter. The seed need only make soil contact so covering it isn't necessary.

All of mine however has been planted by hand with a broadcast hand seeder. The seed is fluffy and difficult to get thru most hand seeders or drills. Reading thru this thread you will see that there are seeders designed specifically for fluffy seed.

My first stands took 3 years to establish during which time I mowed once a year about 8-12" high to prevent harming the new NWSG seedlings but keeping heavy weed competition from suffocating the seedlings.

Eventually I used Plateau herbicide (now Journey) for much quicker establishment. After that burning every 3-5 years keeps the stands from being overrun by invasive's.

This thread covers all types of information on establishing NWSG and includes many great links:

NWSG Establishment

Native Warm Season Grasses in the mid-south

Identify NWSG

Establishing Native Warm-Season Grasses in Missouri

NWSG in Ohio

Prairie Grassland Habitat Management

Warm Season Grass Management in Indiana

NWSG in Kentucky

Dormant seeding wildflowers

Compare NWSG with Cool Season Grasses

Native Grass Community

NRCS / NWSG and Wildlife

Riparian Buffers

NWSG and Quail

Effects of seeding date and native cover crops on prairie establishment

Home Grown Prairies

NWSG Links

NRCS Plant Trials

NWSG Seed Sources

John Osenbaugh, Lucas IA, has Journey tolerant NWSG Mixes. John had a hard time convincing me that winter/frost seeding was the best and most natural way to plant...but he was absolutely right!

Osenbaugh Grass & Wildflower Seeds

Osenbaugh’s Prairie Seed Farms

Welter seed

Roundstone Prairie Seed

Seeding Rates

TECHNICAL GUIDE- Sharp Bros Seed

Ion Exchange - Native Seed & Plant Nursery

Higgins Outdoors (seed and planting)

PF Quick Guide:

Pheasants Forever Grasslands

Herbicides:

Journey herbicide label (Plateau and Glyphosate combo)

Plateau herbicide Label

Paramount Label

Paramount Source

Outrider herbicide Label

Keystone Pest Solutions Carries Panoramic (same as Plateau) in small quantities


Native Warm Season Grass and forb establishment using imazapic and 2,4-D

USING HERBICIDES TO ESTABLISH NATIVE PRAIRIE GRASSES AND FORBS

Study comparing the use of glyphosate to imazapic for killing fescue and establishing NWSG and also shows NWSG no-tilled into killed sod: NWSG for erosion control

NRCS/NWSG Work Sheet

Effects of Fire on Upland Grasses and Forbs

Prescribed Burning:A Critical Habitat Restoration Tool

PRESCRIBED BURNING


Quote:
Growing Prairies Successfully


I. Two important things to remember.

A. Place seed so it can imbibe moisture from the capillary action of water in firm soil.

B. Plants receive all their energy from the sun so competing canopy must be controlled.

II. Prairie seedlings can not tolerate competition.

A. Regarding the growing season prior to year of prairie seeding.

1. Do not produce any weed seeds on growing area that could sprout and compete against the prairie seedlings.

a. Frequent light tillage will do this if the site is non erosive. Mowing will not do it because plants will head out shorter each time after a mowing and can make viable seed shorter than a field mower can mow. A lawn or turf type mower may be an exception but not practical for a large area.

b. Chemicals such as 2-4D for broadleaves and Roundup for the grassy weeds will kill annuals and thus stop weed seed production.
2. Kill perennial vegetation.

a. With chemicals, the most complete and cheapest kill is when plants are sending carbohydrates down (after heading) to the roots refueling them for the next growing season.

b. Cool season grasses--apply Roundup from September 15th thru October 15th.

c. Scout and inventory all target weeds and tell your herbicide salesperson what you are trying to kill.

d. Broadleaf weeds--apply 2-4D or Banvel to late bud to early bloom stage. Do not plant for 10 days.

e. Most grasses and some broadleaf perennials can be killed in the spring of the seeding year with heavier application rates and of course, more cost per acre, but the kill will be more complete.

f. For the best kill, apply chemical, wait ten or more days and then do heavy tillage.

B. Regarding first growing season (seedling year) of prairies.

1. Use repeated pre-planting light tillage to encourage weed sprouting and weed seedling destruction until you eventually deplete the weed seed bank to a tolerable level prior to planting. Used mostly by those who do not like chemicals or are planting in a field with high weed pressure. A June 10th planting works good except some forbs and switchgrass benefit from early spring planting. When last tillage is done at night, the weed seeds don’t sprout very well.

2. Use pre-emergence or early post emergence chemicals.

a. Switchgrass or Big Bluestem—Use Dual (l quart/acre) pre-emergence to stop germination of grassy weeds. Atrazine, princep or Simazine @ 1 quart/acre will stop germination of broadleaf weeds. One quart of Bicep is best to stop both broadleaf and grass weeds. Pre-emergence works best when applied early enough to get activated by 1” of rain before the soil temperature warms enough to sprout weed seeds.

b. Bluestem, Indiangrass, Gramas and some forbs—use four ounces Plateau pre-emergence or early post emergence to prevent broadleaf and grass weeds from sprouting. Poor results on Pigweed family. Four ounces of Pursuit works equally well but not labeled.

c. Pure grass prairies—2-4D is good to kill broadleaf weeds but is not labeled for any grasses with 4 leaves or less, so use minimum rate to minimize damage to grass seedlings. Use Buctril for very small weeds, it’s easier on the grasses.

3. Mowing or grazing as often as needed to ensure the prairie seedlings get direct sunlight. Cutting off the top of prairie seedlings is okay. Do not leave a heavy windrow that could smother seedlings. Mowing six times is best the first year.

4. Delayed planting because of pre-plant tillage, use of herbicides, mowing, or grazing will stress your prairie seedlings. It is our contention that weed competition will stress them even more, so then it is best to take one of the above actions.

C. Prairie seeds need to be firmly embedded into moist soil to sprout.

Embedded depth in this case is 4 times the length or 8 times the diameter of the seed. Most tiny forb seeds need light to germinate.

1. Drill seed the last 30 days before the ground freezes for the winter.

a. Southern Iowa—this is from November 10th thru December 10th.
b. One-fourth planted this way now.

c. Do not need a perfect seedbed for this method.

2. Broadcast (not mechanically incorporated) seed on bare ground or non-crusted snow from The Freeze up to February 28th.

a. The best way to get quick thick stand of switchgrass.

b. Very popular for planting Prairie Mixes.

c. Handy way to plant steep banks or seepy wet bottom ground.

d. Fast way using airplane, 4-wheeler or pickup.

e. Heaving action of the ground and settling of the seeds gets the bottom half of the seed embedded into the soil.

f. Natural Resource Conservation Services (NRCS) requires 50% extra seed when non-mechanically incorporating.

3. Plant into firm moist soil when ground becomes workable in spring.
a. No till with a modern drill
i. Switchgrass seed uses same seed box as clover or alfalfa.
ii. Other prairie grass seeds and forbs with umbrellas require a fluffy box on the drill or a lot of flow able material mixed with it, will carry it through a grain seed broadcaster (not small seed broadcaster). Sand, silica clay, fertilizer or small grain will work for this.
iii. Coulters usually not needed.

A. Coulters help heavy field trash flow through the drill better.
B. Coulters help open up sod so seed is planted in soil and not left
hanging in the leaves and residue.
iv. Burning off residue greatly improves seed placement to get much better seed to soil contact.
b. Drilling or broadcasting into tilled soil.
i. Old rule of thumb…” that a seed bed should be firm enough that a foot print is no deeper than the thickness of a leather shoe sole” still is in effect. This firm seedbed will not have a lot of excess air to dry the seed out plus it will have a lot of capillary pores feeding moisture continuously up to the seed.

ii. If broadcasting (including older drills that used no drop tubes) onto a firm seedbed roll seed into the soil with a field roller or tractor tires, pickup tires etc. Do not harrow in seed because it gets the seed too deep. Packing does a better job of embedding the seed tightly. Use catch pans to monitor evenness of spread pattern and to evaluate seeding rate. Forty seeds per square foot is good for most small seeds.
iii. If drilling with a drill equipped with press wheels, be extremely careful so you do not bury the seed too deep. Drill on a firm seedbed.

iv. Switchgrass seed planted after April 15th benefits from being aged or wet stratified to lesson the dormancy so it will sprout better.

4. Identify new seedlings.

a. Pull plants and identify seed shell that seedling is growing from.

b. Prairie grasses have thinner leaves than the grass weeds.

c. Prairie grasses have deeper roots.

d. Switchgrass has peach fuzz hair on top of the leaf next to the stem.

e. Indiangrass has a tongue protruding up when leaf is pulled away from stem.

f. Bluestems are very hairy all over.
5. Second growing season.

a. Do not burn unless you thoroughly examine the stand to make sure no roots are exposed from the heaving of prairie plant under 6” tall.

b. If you want your prairie grass full size and weed free the second year, apply the herbicides mentioned earlier and fifty pounds actual nitrogen (pure grass prairies only) anyway you want and watch it grow.

c. Without herbicides it may require one early mowing to hold weeds back.

6. Third growing season and thereafter.

a. Apply fifty pounds actual nitrogen per year (pure grass prairies only).

b. Burning is optional.
i. It can stimulate the plants some.
ii. Keeps out intruding woody species and cool season grasses.
iii. Holds down thatch buildup so the mice population won’t get high and encourage fox and coyote predators.
iv. To maintain a insect population so chicks have something to eat, burn only 1/3 of each prairie field each year.
D. Enjoy the beauty, abundant wildlife and the peace of mind from knowing your soil and water are being protected by the prairie.

Osenbaugh’s Prairie Seed Farms
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I thought I would post some pictures of using Plateau (Journey) on my own NWSG plantings. I did some waterways in this case that had been left in brome. The elevator sprayed originally and skipped the waterways.
The first two are early summer, seed was frost seeded on killed sod, using a hand seeder in Feb., no mowing was done.



You can see the clumps of WSG grass, wild flowers and yes...a few weeds, but also bare ground!



and the results the same year later in the fall..

 

iowaqdm

PMA Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I am planning on putting in 40 acres of NWSG that are a "Journey Ready Mix" this Spring. The mix has Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, Little Bluestem, Sideoats Grama, Western Wheatgrass and several forbs. The mix doesn't have any Switchgrass in it. I have been told that switchgrass wont tolerate the Journey Spray. Is this true? What types of grasses are planted in your pictures dbltree? How tall did your grasses get that first year?
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I am planning on putting in 40 acres of NWSG that are a "Journey Ready Mix" this Spring. The mix has Big Bluestem, Indiangrass, Little Bluestem, Sideoats Grama, Western Wheatgrass and several forbs. The mix doesn't have any Switchgrass in it. I have been told that switchgrass wont tolerate the Journey Spray. Is this true? What types of grasses are planted in your pictures dbltree? How tall did your grasses get that first year?


Switchgrass seedlings can be damamged or set back some from Journey depending on rates. I used 12 oz's of Plateau (32 oz's Journey) and I did have a few switch seedling's come up in the mix. At 12 oz's Journey, switch will survive, but you may not have good weed control.

The best bet is to frost seed some switch the following winter, if you want to add it to your mix.

I have sprayed Plateau full strength on exisiting switchgrass stands to release it (becoming over grown with goldenrod) and I found it is nearly impossible to kill exisiting switchgrass! The stands came back strong!

Remember Journey contains Roundup so it must be applied before or at planting. (Plateau does not contain roundup)

My mix contained most of the items you mentioned and as you can see by the bottom picture, it made full height and went to seed the first year. The first WSG mix I planted took 3 years and repeated mowings!!

If you have heavy ground you will want to apply Journey at the highest rates for it to be effective.

Personally I will always prefer switchgrass for wildlife cover, so you may consider seeding Cav-n-rock switchgrass next winter.
 
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iowaqdm

PMA Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Thanks dbltree. I appreciate your response. I was thinking about exactly what you suggested concerning adding switchgrass after establishing the Journey ready mix. Would you suggest .5 pounds per acre for frost seeding? That seems to be the seeding rate in many of the tall warm season mixes. Or would you seed a little heavier (.75 - 1 pound) due to the fact that you are frost seeding and may not get a high germination rate. What is your experience with frost seeding NWSG and germination rates? A couple other questions. Is Cave-in-Rock switchgrass the type that reaches 5-6 foot tall? When you say your grass reached full height the first year was that 5-6 foot tall. You also said that Journey must be sprayed before or at time of planting due to having round-up in it. Wouldn't you want to spray postemergence due to the mix being "Journey Ready"? I am planning on having my seed drilled with a Truax native grass drill in stubble to help decrease erosion and weed competion associated with tilling the seed bed. The ground is mostly HEL and has been row cropped using no-till equipment. Any suggestions for my plan? How many times did you spray your stand the first year and when did you spray? Would you use Journey or the Plateau?
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Thanks dbltree. I appreciate your response. I was thinking about exactly what you suggested concerning adding switchgrass after establishing the Journey ready mix. Would you suggest .5 pounds per acre for frost seeding? That seems to be the seeding rate in many of the tall warm season mixes. Or would you seed a little heavier (.75 - 1 pound) due to the fact that you are frost seeding and may not get a high germination rate. What is your experience with frost seeding NWSG and germination rates? A couple other questions. Is Cave-in-Rock switchgrass the type that reaches 5-6 foot tall? When you say your grass reached full height the first year was that 5-6 foot tall. You also said that Journey must be sprayed before or at time of planting due to having round-up in it. Wouldn't you want to spray postemergence due to the mix being "Journey Ready"? I am planning on having my seed drilled with a Truax native grass drill in stubble to help decrease erosion and weed competion associated with tilling the seed bed. The ground is mostly HEL and has been row cropped using no-till equipment. Any suggestions for my plan? How many times did you spray your stand the first year and when did you spray? Would you use Journey or the Plateau?


the seeding rate on switch would depend on how much you value switch over the other grasses. Switch will stay standing even after heavy snows...to me it is the ultimate and it will quite often dominate after enough years. Big bluestem stands pretty well until it snows then I'm not that impressed. Most seed mixes don't have much switch simply because they know it will eventually take over at higher rates. If you want a home for big bucks...plant thick!

Frost seeding is the natural way prairie grass regenerates in the wild...it did so for thousands of years with only a little help form Native Americans burning it off so they could catch up with the buffalo!

The truax drill is excellent and should do the trick! You have the option next winter of using the drill for the switch or just broadcasting it.

Anymore I just broadcast cause I hate paying the $50.00 hookup fee and general pain in the butt going to get it, etc....but 40 acres is a lot...so the drill is well worth it! I have used the drill on frozen ground in midwinter also...all you want is soil/seed contact...no need to "cover" it.

My WSG mix was easily head high by fall the first year, switchgrass will grow that fast if you use Atrazine, but that means it must be planted seperate from other grasses and wildflowers. (I've found the wildflowers to be an expensive waste...the grasses dominate after just a few years...)
CAUTION - Journey Ready means only that the mix is tolerant to the residual effects of the herbicide!! DO NOT spray it on emerged plants unless you want to kill them!!!

I'd say your plan sounds like a winner!
 
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bjkpharmd

New Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Iowaqdm- I would avoid the switch completely especially the Cave variety unless that is what you want. It will out-compete the forbs and quite a few other grass species. So why spend the money on a nice mix? Plant a switch stand for cover in another spot or a bedding area near the diversified stand.
 

iowaqdm

PMA Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Thanks for all the advice dbltree. What rate would you recommend for Journey when spraying (32oz per acre) and how many days before planting should I have the ground sprayed? My guess would be 14 days?
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Thanks for all the advice dbltree. What rate would you recommend for Journey when spraying (32oz per acre) and how many days before planting should I have the ground sprayed? My guess would be 14 days?


If your ground is heavy clay or clay loam I would use the higher rate of at least 32 ounces to get enough resisdual control. You can spray it on even a few days after you plant...just as long as it hasn't started to germinate. The prarie grasses are just what they say...WARM SEASON...so they don't germinate quickly in the spring like clover or cool season grasses. I would no-till the seed in as early as possible...like anytime now. Then spray at first sign of any green up. Weeds and grasses will start to green up first....long before the WSG mix. The Journey herbicide has Roundup in it, so this will kill any early flush of weeds growth, then the active ingredient Imapazic will provide season long weed control.

Pharmer is right...you may not want to seed Switchgrass on all of your area...again it depends on what you want from your cover. Some areas with out switch will make better and more diversified nesting cover for upland birds. Both quail and pheasants often prefer a little more "clumpy" semi open areas where broods can feed. Clover and alfalfa are excellent planted next to your WSG mix as the broods will feed on the insects drawn to the flowering legumes, which are short enough for hens to see over, but provide cover for broods.

In the end, despite anything else that you hear...if you want the BEST cover on your HEL for deer...plant switchgrass. That's something each landowner must decide for themselves though.
 
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iowaqdm

PMA Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Thanks again dbltree. I got more information from you in just a couple posts than I got from talking to the NRCS, a DNR Private Land Biologist and a PF habitat coordinator. I appreciate all your input. On the Switchgrass, I have about 40 acres of CRP that is in Brome grass that I am planning on converting in '07 to NWSG. If this Journey Mix works like you guys say than I will plant it on that 40 acres as well. I will then frost seed Switchgrass in about 20-25 acres of it that lays between two brushy draws that are a mix of oaks and ceders. The deer already like to bed in these two draws so with switchgrass between them it should make a monster buck safe haven. Can't wait! Thanks again.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Pharmer sent me the ISU Test results from the prairie establishment demo plots and then I asked Greg Brenneman - ISU Extension Ag Engineering Spec. to send me any other information from his research. It's been awhile but he finally emailed them to me. Very good supportive information on establishing prarie grasses and using herbicides. Specific #'s of seed to use in NWSG mixes and general information on both Switchgrass and NWSG mixes.
If anybody would like this information...PM me with your email and I will forward it on to you. There are three different papers which you can save to your puter or print out for great reference.

Some pictures to compare mature stands of NWSG mix and pure Switchgrass

NWSG MIX




NWSG mix - you can see the two dominant species are Indiangrass and Big Bluestem. No evidence of wildflowers and short species such as little bluestem.



Mature Switchgrass stand - in summer all types of prairie grass are quite thick. If upland birds are a priority then some stands of short species or alfalfa would be better for brood rearing.

 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I seeded 2 acres of NWSG mix with a Truax Seed Slinger today: Truax Slinger



I used the hand held version, which full of seed was pretty darn heavy when full of seed. The seeder worked flawlessly as far as handling the fluffy seed, however it only threw the seed maybe 8 ft at most. The seed is "fluffy" of course and won't throw very far, but I found it difficult to crank the handle fast enough to throw the seed far enough. I expect that the ATV mounted version would be better. The Slinger certainly worked much better then trying to stuff it thru a regular hand seeder!

The Slinger also has a seperate compartment for small seeds like clover or switchgrass.
Of course if you can borrow one of these it makes the job a whole lot easier!!
RANGELAND Drill ROUGH RIDER - MODEL: RR-1210

 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I just sprayed the area that I frost seeded with Plateau. It would have been better to do it earlier but you can see in this pic that everything is starting to die. To much foliage to see if any of the new NWSG seedlings are coming up yet....

 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

I know many of you have NWSG plantings which by now have you searching for new seedlings. They are nearly impossible to find if herbicide hasn't been used and even then it's pretty tough.

Here's a pic of mature Big Bluestem in late spring:



This is a new Big Bluestem seedling in the area shown in the previous post. Frost seeded by with a hand spreader in very late winter, then sprayed with Plateau (now Journey)



Note the difference in vegetation after the Plateau started working!
Here's is a more likely look at a seedling, no idea which type it is...but it is a NWSG seedling because everything else is stone cold dead! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif



NWSG can be established without herbicide of course, but don't have a hairy if you can't find any plants this summer /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/grin.gif
 

TimberPig

Active Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

The CP25 I planted this spring is doing pretty well, as are the weeds growing along with it. I just finished my 2nd mowing last week, and the 3rd mowing wont be far behind after this weeks 2" rainfall. I havent a clue which NWSG is up so far, but I'm guessing weeds and foxtail dont grow in rows!
So far the grass is 8"-12" tall, and a few wildflowers are blooming to boot.
That herbicide would sure be a nice option.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

The CP25 I planted this spring is doing pretty well, as are the weeds growing along with it. I just finished my 2nd mowing last week, and the 3rd mowing wont be far behind after this weeks 2" rainfall. I havent a clue which NWSG is up so far, but I'm guessing weeds and foxtail dont grow in rows!

So far the grass is 8"-12" tall, and a few wildflowers are blooming to boot.
That herbicide would sure be a nice option.

Sounds like it's doing great TP!
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

A few notes on NWSG from the CRP field day... (this post is full of pics so if you have dial up your going to hate me /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/blush.gif

First they wanted to make sure everyone understood not to get frustrated the first year thinking your planting was a failure (been there done that /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif)

The sample plots showed how much faster you can have a stand by using herbicide, but that even without it they still had decent stands 3 years later.

The varety plots really hit home and several types really stood out as agressive and long lived, so I'll share a few pics of what I found.

This planting was frost seeded on 3/13/03, Plateau on right, untreated on left.



Frost seeded NWSG on 02/27/04, mowed twice in 04 no herbicide. Mostly Canada Wild Rye and forbs this year but tall grasses are in there if you walk thru it.



Frost seeded 03/03/02 and treated with Plateau at 4 oz's, the untreated looked thinner but there none the less



Aldous Little Bluestem was spreading into many surrounding plots. Great stuff for pheasant nesting habitat. I would ask for it in your NWSG mix if possible! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif



Another good little blue but not quite as agressive and switchgrass was invading this plot.



The following Big Bluestem varieties were doing well and very tall!




Roundtree BB not quite as tall..



Niagra BB...good stuff! /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif




Kaw BB was much shorter and thin...



Pawnee BB



Roundtree BB




Rumsey Indiangrass:



Tomahawk Indiangrass:



Side Oats Grama was very thin, very short grass that prefers very dry sites, more common west of here. Most of the plots were overtaken by other species as in this case where what you see is mostly Little Bluestem.



The ISU research farm is located south and east of Crawfordsville (east of 218 on G-62, then north to the farm) You can stop by and see these plots anytime /forum/images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/cool.gif
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Here's some pics of first year Indiangrass that I used Plateau on. It was broadcast on mowed ground in very early spring. No tillage involved but I used 12 oz of plateau and one quart of Roundup (Journey is that combination now)



One thing that's kind of interesting is that one patch got so thick and heavy that it has already went flat...hard to expect much of it for winter cover if it can't make it thru the summer standing up.



I have noticed that Indiangrass seems to be spreading in one field (wind carried seed) but in another "wild big bluestem" is spreading. I'm not sure where it came from except it has spread from across the road, into the ditch and into my field...which is ok with me. This native BB does go very flat in the winter while some that I have planted stands up much better.

Choosing species for standability and dominance would be worth while
 
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dbltree

Super Moderator
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Yesterday I charperoned a bunch of teens on an all day tour of The Neil Smith Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City. Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge

Many of you have already visited the refuge but those who have not, I highly reccommend stopping by.

If you have even the slightest interest in establishing NWSG and forbs this is an excellent place to see every type of prairie plant imaginable...most with out leaving the sidewalk (in fact...leaving the walkway will get you in trouble)

Inside they have a 3 screen theater and a history exhibit of all things prairie.

One of the first displays you will see, is a cutaway of prairie plants and soil with the very thing I keep telling those in the process of starting NWSG.

"Prairie plants grow down not up the first year. It also shows the tremendous depths that prairie plant roots can grow too, giving them the ability to hold and improve soil as well as survive droughts.

It underscores the fact that most new NWSG plantings will show little if any growth for several years.

I often wondered why Canada Wild Rye is included in NWSG mixes as it disappears after a year or two. I asked the Ranger about it and he called it a declining perennial and it acts much the same as rye would as a nurse crop for clover. It comes on strong to hold back weeds until the NWSG seedlings begin to grow up.

I would urge anyone who hasn't been there to visit...as a reminder that 85% of Iowa was once covered with prairie and to see a little bit of history being restored.

A large portion of the 5000 acre refuge is open to pheasant and deer hunting BTW
 

bjkpharmd

New Member
Re: Plateau/Journey herbicide for NWSG

Sounds like a great field trip. We have about a 9 acre remnant that has responded beautifully to some fire over the last 5 years. I've been collecting seed and "encouraging" the natives. Some of the poor soil areas are really taking off where the old brome was struggling.
This is one of the "encouraged areas"
 
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