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Native Warm Season Grass

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dipper

Guest
Mine is spotty too. I'm on year 3, in sandy soil. Some spots are 6' some a 1'. I'm hoping the 1' stuff this year will improve next year. Im impressed with the drought resistance switch has. That 1' stuff was pretty crisp during our July drought, and it's nice and green now. Seems like it is pretty hard to kill.
My ? Is a burn a good idea if you want it to thicken up? Wouldn't burning the seed prevent it from thickening up?
 
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Dbltree

Guest
1
Mine is spotty too. I'm on year 3, in sandy soil. Some spots are 6' some a 1'. I'm hoping the 1' stuff this year will improve next year. Im impressed with the drought resistance switch has. That 1' stuff was pretty crisp during our July drought, and it's nice and green now. Seems like it is pretty hard to kill.
My ? Is a burn a good idea if you want it to thicken up? Wouldn't burning the seed prevent it from thickening up?
No, burning will remove the straw and thatch, allowing the existing plant's to flourish. We rarely need more seed unless there are large bare areas, it is a matter of releasing existing plant's. Burning also "fertilize's" plant's via ash left behind, best stands here are burned every year ;)
 
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Dbltree

Guest
1
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.
 

Native Hunter

5 year old buck +
Nice pics Paul. I had some side oats, but it just disappeared after the first year. Same thing with Illinois Bundle Flower. There were places it looked pretty good, but it just vanished.
 
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dipper

Guest


what is this one again?
 
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Dbltree

Guest
Nice pics Paul. I had some side oats, but it just disappeared after the first year. Same thing with Illinois Bundle Flower. There were places it looked pretty good, but it just vanished.

Unfortunately the tallgrasses will dominate and the forbs will fade along with most short grasses.
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
Does anyone have suggestions for a quality NWSG mix that works well when dealing with heavy snow? Or just some suggestions on seeding rates and mixes in general? We purchased some big blue stem and Indian grass last year but have not planted it yet. We will be converting one of our corn plots inside a 6 year old poplar stand next spring and I didn't find any actual mixes or rates on the thread. Does anyone have an easy, step by step process when converting corn fields to NWSG? Thanks.
 
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dipper

Guest
Easy rent a no till drill with a native seed box and plant your big blue and indian grass in one pass.
It's all about fox tail and cool season grass control
 

Bill

Administrator
Does anyone have suggestions for a quality NWSG mix that works well when dealing with heavy snow? Or just some suggestions on seeding rates and mixes in general? We purchased some big blue stem and Indian grass last year but have not planted it yet. We will be converting one of our corn plots inside a 6 year old poplar stand next spring and I didn't find any actual mixes or rates on the thread. Does anyone have an easy, step by step process when converting corn fields to NWSG? Thanks.

If you're looking for a native to stand during heavy wet snow switch grass is your best option and it may not take lots of heavy wet snow.

Indian and big blue are already falling half way over at my place from just the wind. By mid Dec it will be flat.

I'd give John osenbaugh at http://prairieseedfarms.com/index.html a call. He will listen to your situation and what your looking to accomplish and give you a plan. Even if you don't buy any seed from him he'll give sound advise. The guy just loves talking native grass.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
We purchased some big blue stem and Indian grass last year but have not planted it yet.
Where did you get your seed from that you have now?
 

Greta&Gus

5 year old buck +
Where did you get your seed from that you have now?
The outdoor show, PLM possibly? I am not completely sure off hand.
 

wiscwhip

5 year old buck +
That's unfortunate, I was hoping you got it from Higgin's on the dark side. I'm still pretty sure with one of those seed tags and some inquiries on the lot numbers and such with seed producers, I could nail down the cultivar he is using in his RW Switchgrass. The issue there is that it still must be adapted to your area, as switch is highly site specific when it comes to it's traits being used to the best of it's ability.
 

younggun1849

5 year old buck +
I have a few areas that have been fallow that I would like to plant CIR. Unfortunately I wasn't able to mow and kill using herbicide last fall.

What are my options? The grasses that have grown will be knocked down from all the snow. Can I frost seed into the existing dead grasses that are matted down from the snow and have the CIR take over and thrive? I have other areas where I planted soybeans last year that I will be frost seeding into as well, I'm just curious if frost seeding will work in the other areas that I didn't prep.
 

Bill

Administrator
I have a few areas that have been fallow that I would like to plant CIR. Unfortunately I wasn't able to mow and kill using herbicide last fall.

What are my options? The grasses that have grown will be knocked down from all the snow. Can I frost seed into the existing dead grasses that are matted down from the snow and have the CIR take over and thrive? I have other areas where I planted soybeans last year that I will be frost seeding into as well, I'm just curious if frost seeding will work in the other areas that I didn't prep.

I wouldn't spend the $ to frost seed into an unprepared site. CIR can be spring planted but you may not get as Good of germination the first year. ( it will lay dormant and sprout next spring)

If you don't want to wait I would say mow ASAP even if it's dead, get it sprayed with 2-4 Qty's/ acre atrazine prior to spring green up. Wait for spring green up and hit it with Gly. If you can, rent a drill from your local NRCS office and drill the switch in mid to late June. If there is any green in the field prior to drilling hit it with gly again.
 
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younggun1849

5 year old buck +
The problem is we have snow, not sure how effective mowing will be this time of year.
 

scott44

5 year old buck +
I have a few areas that have been fallow that I would like to plant CIR. Unfortunately I wasn't able to mow and kill using herbicide last fall.

What are my options? The grasses that have grown will be knocked down from all the snow. Can I frost seed into the existing dead grasses that are matted down from the snow and have the CIR take over and thrive? I have other areas where I planted soybeans last year that I will be frost seeding into as well, I'm just curious if frost seeding will work in the other areas that I didn't prep.

I would go with what Bill said, The first time I wanted to plant CIR I had the seed and was going to plant it like everything else then I googled it and found Dbltree and read his forums on IW/Outreach Outdoors on switchgrass and contacted him. I prepped the area all summer and frost seeded it the next winter/spring. I have never frost seeded into non prepped ground but it sounds like it is alot more work. I really didn't want to wait that extra year to get it prepped but I'm glad I did.It probably can be done but the CIR the first year doesn't like the competition with the cool season grasses.
 

Honker

5 year old buck +
I've gotten a respectable stand of strait switch grass by planting in the spring. Worked the ground, cultipacted, seeded, cultipacted, and sprayed atrazine over the top. It was a little thin the first year but thickened up really well in year 2 and after.
 
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dipper

Guest
Give it alittle Fire and it 10"s already. This is third year
CA286F38-DAEA-4236-97A8-74F137E39C0E.jpg
 

j-bird

Moderator
I had mine drilled in the summer of 2013 (it's Real World seed bedding in a bag) The switch has done really well, the big bluestem and indiangrass - not so much.

Started with this in summer of 2013:
2013 Bottom NWSG facing south.JPG

Summer of 2014 was this (what do you call a 48" yard stick?):
2014 end june bottom switch detail.jpg

So far in 2015 it is a good 12" tall already.
 
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