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What to plant in my wetland area

HWC

New Member
It used to have some cattails but they are almost gone. I even tried taking the heads off a few and spreading the seed last year.

The ground is never under water but has a natural spring and stays pretty soft except for drought years.

I would like to have ideas on what I can plant to give more bedding. Right now it is wasted ground. I would do a food plot instead if that makes more sense. It has CRP on both sides.
 

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Wi transplant

PMA Member
Rent an excavator and make mounds all over in the area 2 to 3 ft tall with flat tops some big ones 10ft dia some 5ft dia and deer will bed on them . Water will go to the holes you dig should keep rest of area dry enough to get willows and other low land brush growing.

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Wi transplant

PMA Member
I can usually rent a small to medium excavator for around 250 a day so not the worst

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HWC

New Member
Thanks for the reply. That's interesting and I am trying to picture it. Have you seen or done it before and have any pictures of similar set up? It is such a wasted area and the deer don't travel in daylight often due to the visibility from 2 houses. I own 35 acres that hunts smaller due to this. My son owns 31 acres that hunts 10x larger.
 

Wi transplant

PMA Member
Yes I had a 40 acre pc/woods that was always wet except for mid summer so I rented excavator in aug and went at it for a day . And yes they started using the humps to bed on . The following yr. I did not have to add brush or willows cause it was in a woods but I did get alot of new growth because water sat in all the pockets I created making the humps.

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Sligh1

Administrator
Staff member
Above sounds great!!! For wet areas ur other options are stuff like Kanlow switch (cave in rock if not quite as wet) or stuff like tree plantings depending how wet. Variety of shrubs and trees like pin oak, swamp oak, willow, etc.
 
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HWC

New Member
Above sounds great!!! For wet areas ur other options are stuff like Kanlow switch (cave in rock if not quite as wet) or stuff like tree plantings depending how wet. Variety of shrubs and trees like pin oak, swamp oak, willow, etc.
That sounds like some great options!
 

HWC

New Member
The Kanlow switch sounds appealing also. How would you go about seeding it in such a thick, marshy grass? I would like something that the pheasants use also as their population is growing around my place.
 

IowaBowHunter1983

Super Moderator
Staff member
Do you guys think Miscanthus would grow there? I have a couple of dozen plants around the yard. Several are now old enough to start harvesting rhizomes so it would be handy if you think they would grow in a wetter area. I still haven't seen definite answers on if deer and pheasant like it, but there isn't much better plant for privacy if they do like it.
Yes. Miscanthus loves wet.

Common reed would grow if it is wet enough. It is highly invasive so you gotta be careful with that one. It gets super thick and 10' tall.
 
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HWC

New Member
Yes. Miscanthus loves wet.

Common reed would grow if it is wet enough. It is highly invasive so you gotta be careful with that one. It gets super thick and 10' tall.
Smith1975- Yes I have ordered from them the last 2 years. Good company.

Iowabowhunter- It seems to be a natural spring that stays soft even with this drought. I saw some standing water in a very small area there this morning and we haven't had rain in awhile.

Have you guys noticed if deer and pheasant like the Miscanthus for bedding? There is the big field of it near Menards out of Iowa City. One winter I walked the perimeter by the road and didn't see a lot of tracks in the snow leading into it. Besides that I haven't ever seen a solid answer on if they like it as much as switch grass.
 

letemgrow

PMA Member
Look at buttonbush for another option. They love to browse it and would provide some dense cover from the head down.
 
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Daver

PMA Member
Smith1975- Yes I have ordered from them the last 2 years. Good company.

Iowabowhunter- It seems to be a natural spring that stays soft even with this drought. I saw some standing water in a very small area there this morning and we haven't had rain in awhile.

Have you guys noticed if deer and pheasant like the Miscanthus for bedding? There is the big field of it near Menards out of Iowa City. One winter I walked the perimeter by the road and didn't see a lot of tracks in the snow leading into it. Besides that I haven't ever seen a solid answer on if they like it as much as switch grass.

FWIW...I live within a mile of said field ^^ and know the people that own it. I rarely see pheasants in that area these days...so it does not seem to me to be a "pheasant magnet", at least from what I can see. That being said, there are few pheasants seen from Iowa City all the way down Hwy1 to at least Kalona...so the lack of pheasants extends well beyond that one field of miscanthus, but it also doesn't appear to be a magic bullet either.
 
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bigbuckhunter88

PMA Member
If interested in doing an unconventional food plot look at duck potato or broadleaf arrowhead. There are places to get it. I contemplated planting it in our wetland area but felt it would have made the hunting worse as they would not leave and my access wasn't the best. I've seen deer hammer it both first hand and in videos.
 

HWC

New Member
FWIW...I live within a mile of said field ^^ and know the people that own it. I rarely see pheasants in that area these days...so it does not seem to me to be a "pheasant magnet", at least from what I can see. That being said, there are few pheasants seen from Iowa City all the way down Hwy1 to at least Kalona...so the lack of pheasants extends well beyond that one field of miscanthus, but it also doesn't appear to be a magic bullet either.
Interesting. I wonder if the deer like it?

As for common reed when you say it is highly invasive what is the risk? It is hilly by me so would it only grow in the bottoms?

BB8 I will look into that also. Very interesting. A perfect world would be great for deer and pheasant.
 

letemgrow

PMA Member
Elderberry cuttings could work also (along with the buttonbush). Deer absolutely love to browse those on my place.

Get some giant ragweed going in there also and I’d be content with what they have


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