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Native Warm Season Grass

DannyBoy

Well-Known Member
I planted Big/little bluestem and some indian head in the summer of 2012. Anyone know if I should burn it this spring or wait another year.

Depends on what it looks like. If you see a good healthy stand of the grasses you seeded, no harm in waiting. If you have too much weed pressure or cool-season grasses getting established, a good late spring burn will help. Just be careful with late spring burns... if you seeded forbs with the nwsg's and burn late, you may never see them again. Indian and big blue respond especially well to late spring burns.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Burning NWSG

Jess & crew did a lot of burning in April, it does wonders for native prairie grass but it can also be very dangerous! I learned my lesson nearly 20 years ago, so Jess takes every precaution to avoid a runaway wildfire.

Because we burn commercially we use more equipment then the average landowner, we purchased a sprayer with boom and hose reel but BP sprayers also work well. FS Sprayers



We prepare by mowing around the perimeter,tilling an 8' strip to act as a firebreak before starting a back burn against the wind. Drip torches work well, but we use propane



Fields with low fuel load burn slower





Fields with a high fuel load can roar like a runaway freight train!





It goes without saying the watching the weather and winds is of utmost importance!





Hot burns help destroy invasives including cedars, locusts



One can see how wind whipped burns can quickly get out of control



leaving nothing but scorched earth in its wake



and a few prizes to emphasis the importance of NWSG in whitetail management



Fire is an important management tool that helps keep native grasses robust and thriving. Without proper precautions fires can jump roads and wreak havoc on neighboring lands so have plenty of help and backup plans.

If burning isn't an option then mowing before fawning time will suffice.
 

chronic

New Member
Long time since I have posted here I am sure. I have attached a pic of my NWSG. Are you familiar with a herbicide called Carnivore? What would you think about spraying this with banvel and carnivore? We have been getting rather significant moisture since about June 7. I should have seedlings coming. What do you think?
 

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chronic

New Member
I have sprayed it every year for at least three years to control koshia, Russian thistle and pigweed. After about 4 inches of rain in June some nwsg seedlings have surely come on and the weeds are definitely coming on. I used banvel, 24d and ally in past, now have a recommendation of banvel and carnivore. I don't have a tractor or mower to be able to go out and mow around whenever I want at this time.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Milestone is another good herbicide for thistles so if they are a problem go ahead and spray but it's very unusual to have to spray every year
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
July 25, 2014

Jess planted 450 acres of NWSG this year



The fluffy seed is nearby impossible to plant without a special drill



We no-till plant all of into killed sod, mostly in the CRP program



It's a win win for landowners and wildlife so inquire at your FSA office soon ;)
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
Native Warm Season Grass we planted 3 years ago and we will burn it next spring under CRP MCM (mid contract management) which means we get paid to enhance our habitat ;)



If you are seeding prairie grass this winter or spring you should be in the process of killing existing CSG (cool season grass ). Hopefully you mowed it 3-4 weeks ago and spraying right about now.



We use 2 quarts glyphosate (roundup )and 1 quart of crop oil per acre. Depending on the grasses being sown there are a few option's to add to get some pre-emergant control the following spring



Plateau/Panoramic can be used to get additional control of fescue in mixed NWSG such as Big Bluestem and Indiangrass. Check label for compatible species, fall spraying will allow sufficient time for many species yet give some control into spring.



Switchgrass preparation is essentially the same but we can add 1 to 2 ounces Oust XP/SFM75 per acre to the glyphosate. Do NOT use this combination in the spring the seeding year.



Native prairie grass makes outstanding whitetail buck habitat, especially on hilly ground. Ideally highly erodible crop land can be enrolled in CRP but any fields not required for feeding areas would be better off in native grass on farms managed for whitetails.
 

dbltree

Super Moderator
<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <o:OfficeDocumentSettings> <o:AllowPNG/> </o:OfficeDocumentSettings> </xml><![endif]--> Jess and IDNR Private Lands biologist Kevin Andersen inspected a CRP NWSG seeding that Jess seeded in late June. The seed mix in our area calls for 8-12 native grasses and roughly 15-20 forbs, they germinate at different times and many are slow growing the first year.

Due wet summer weather no mowing was done and use of herbicides was not possible because of the wide diversity in species. Suffice it to say there was plenty of weeds, yet they were not smothering the seeding.
The following are some of the native grasses and forbs they identified.
Beebomb


Big Bluestem clump

Big Bluestem seed head


Blackeyed Susan







Heath Aster


Hoary Vervain



Indiangrass


Partridge Pea



Prairie Coreopsis


Sideoats Grama


Switchgrass




We are blessed to have Kevin’s expertise available to us but not everyone is so fortunate. John Osenbaugh of Prairie Seed Farms is a great source of seed and advice, but I hope this thread is a place you can turn to as well.
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streitl

New Member
I am planning on frost seeding the CP-25 mix in the near future. I was considering adding the forbs/wildflowers to the mix. I've read on here that after a few years, those wildflowers are not very prevalent. What are some of your opinions? I would like the diversity but don't want to waste my money either.

Also, I was wanting to plant some shrubs into the NWSG mix. Does burning have a detrimental effect to those shrubs? Or would it be best to mow or burn around them?
 
Last edited:

Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Seperate shrubs into other areas so u can mow or disc around them so u don't burn them up. Yes- they will be toast if burnt.
Forbs & wildflowers can do well- u will need to reduce the amount of natives or go a little lighter on the tall ones (bb, switch, indian) & do some shorter ones like little blue stem. Then, if u get a mix that goes well together and is balanced - u really need to think of timing on burn. Early burn will favor forbs, late burn will kill many forbs and will favor natives.
 

streitl

New Member
I was intending to do the cp-25 mix. According to prairie seed farm's website

"Designed to restore your rare and declining habitat areas, this prairie mix has cool season grasses for early spring grazing by birds combined with short and tall warm season grasses that provide excellent nesting material and cover. It also features a beautiful display of wildflowers that are host to a high population of insects. That's important for baby chicks because insects are their only food during a chick's first 4-6 weeks of life.. "

It doesn't list the exact grasses and wildflowers. I'll have to call and ask.
 

streitl

New Member
I was going to frost seed NWSG this next weekend. With the warmer temps, do you think it's still ok? Surely we'll have some colder temps for the next month or so.
 

Daver

PMA Member
I was going to frost seed NWSG this next weekend. With the warmer temps, do you think it's still ok? Surely we'll have some colder temps for the next month or so.

I just frost seeded about 2 acres of switch this past Saturday. The forecast we have for this coming Saturday, melting snow/thawing ground, looks just about perfect to frost seed if you ask me.

I plan on frost seeding about 2-3 acres of clover this coming weekend.
 
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