what to plant???

Discussion in 'Habitat Forum' started by gracie31, May 6, 2002.

  1. gracie31

    gracie31 Senior Refuge Member

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    I have a piece for land that attracts some ducks but does not hold them well. I have to complete with sheet water in rye grass and other big money clubs that plant and control the water. My spot just fills up with rain water in the winter. The spot is allmost dried up now. I was thinking of throwing some Biologic out to see what would happen. What do you think?
     
  2. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    What is the normal depth of the water between June 1st and the end of duck season? What species of ducks are we talking about?

    Tossing out weed seeds (which is what Biologic is) on a field that has established rye grass won't be very effective. It will not compete well with the established grass, so your production would be very low for the $ spent. But there are many fairly simple things that you can do with great results with a seasonally flooded marsh like you describe. If you will answer the two questions above to the best of your ability, I'll be able to give more specific advice.
     
  3. gracie31

    gracie31 Senior Refuge Member

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    june- wet ground
    july- dried up
    aug- dried up
    sept driedup
    oct- wet ground
    nov- puddling 2feet max depth
    dec- pudding 10 feet max depth
    jan- pudding 10feet max


    We are hunting for puddle ducks.
    We shot allot of widgeon this year, but the allard or pintails jaut don't stick arround.
     
  4. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    My suspicion is that the Wigeons are using it as a loafing area and grazing on the rye grass. At 10' that water's too deep in Dec/Jan for puddle ducks to use it too much...certainly not for feeding. I'm assuming Dec/Jan is when you get your big flights of Mallards and Pintails? Puddlers need between 4-8" inches of water for feeding. They will loaf and roost in deeper areas sheltered by trees and/or high ground.

    I'm afraid that planting some duck food won't help much, as the ducks cannot tip and feed much beyond 10" max. 6" is ideal in most circumstances.

    Geez! 10' of water is even too deep for them to eat corn!

    If you really want to try something, plant Japanese Millet in late August or September. Disk the ground to turn over existing vegetation and open up the soil. Then spray on a pre-emergent broad-spectrum herbicide like Roundup. Immediately following the next rainfall, while the ground is still damp...not muddy...damp, broadcast Jap Millet at 30 lbs/acre. If you can time this to where it germinates during warm weather, and within a few weeks the soil becomes saturated once again, Jap Millet will go nuts! It will actually continue to grow in height to keep its head above water...up to about 8 ft. in the best cases I've ever heard of. This will only happen if water rises slowly. This would give you an emergent food source that puddlers love through MOST of your season. But once that water is about 8" over the tops of whatever you plant, you're done.

    You could try a tall stand corn planting, but July is too late and corn is very expensive by comparison.

    Sorry I don't have a good suggestion for you, but 10' of water is pretty tough.
     
  5. MSDuckmen

    MSDuckmen Moderator Moderator

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    gracie31
    If the water is 10’ max in the Dec and Jan you may need to consider planting the edges. The water has to be shallower in places and if it is still on your property then plant it. And let the water come to the food. Another great thing to consider is the planting of button brush or willow trees in the area that gets 10 feet deep. You may not be able to plant a food source but the next best thing is to give them a place to rest. Restraint will have to be used in hunting that area as too much pressure will keep them out for good.

    Make your habitat work for you and think of the things that it has to offer. Plant oak trees around the edges and feed the ducks years after you are gone.

    Another thought is that if the shallows are too far from where you hunt plant them anyway. The more ducks that use that area the more likely they are to come to your area to rest.

    Just a few thoughts
     
  6. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    i'm pretty sure roundup (and other glyphosates) are post emergent. that means it only kills plants that are already growing out of the soil. roundup is neutralized when it touches the soil, it binds to the clays.

    you can try spraying roundup first, when the weeds are actively growing, and wait about 7-10 days and then disk the dead material into the soil.
     
  7. MSDuckmen

    MSDuckmen Moderator Moderator

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    Well OK then, did I miss something.

    That's great info. just don't know how it plays here.

    Think you were reading the other post and posted on this one.

    Thanks for the info though.
     
  8. silvermallard

    silvermallard Elite Refuge Member

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    No, Duckmen, he was correcting my post. I did not mean to imply that Roundup is a pre-emergent. I said "like Roundup" referring to broad-spectrum herbicides because most people are now familiar with that brandname, but the way I worded it...very tired after spending 18 hours straight preparing for flooding...was misleading. Thank you for the clarification.

    I agree with Duckmen's strategy for your property. Your post was about planting FOOD plots, but Duckmen is giving good advice. IF you plant food, the most valuable things you could do are what he suggests: Oaks around the perimeter where water is shallower, and in areas where you never get more than 1-2 ft of water, you could try planting some Millet, Wild Rice, etc. This was what I envisioned w/the Jap Millet instructions above. Those deep parts are just going to be inaccessible, but you would obviously have fringe areas where the water is shallower, maybe mounds where water is shallower, etc. Jap Millet will grow to 4 ft. pretty easily in moist soil and slow-rising water that comes up to a depth of about 3 ft over a month or so...same with Wild Rice, but it needs a bit longer growing season. From what I understand there is some Wild Rice in your area. The downside of Oaks is that it will be years before you see any benefit, and water standing on them for more than 3 months straight will allow many of them to become diseased and die if planted in deeper areas. If you can keep them in the shallower portions, it would be a great long-term project.

    I also agree with Duckmen's suggestion that you think more about additional cover for loafing ducks vs. food. Wildlife needs 3 things from habitat: food, cover, seclusion. That's what they look for. With ducks, a combination of any 2 can produce results. Based on what you describe, I would work to enhance cover and be mindful of hunting pressure...exactly as Duckmen suggests.

    Depending on how large the area is, whether or not you own it, and how much you're willing to invest, there are many ways to improve and manage such a parcel...unless, of course, it is in a Corps-regulated area. I have a 192 acre moist soil unit that is, for all practical intents and purposes, a lake most of the year. I would love to mound and channelize it for the ducks, but I could never hope to pull the necessary Corps permits...much less get it dry enough to work on! Nature is taking care of that one on her own, though...with a little help from all the development upstream. Silt deposits are raising the ground level of the middle 2/3 of that parcel. Eventually, much of that ground will remain above water most of the year. At that point, it will re-forest itself. It used to be a beautiful, seasonally-flooded stand of Pin Oaks. The flood of 93, and subsequent frequent flooding (like right now) has killed all the timber.
     
  9. MSDuckmen

    MSDuckmen Moderator Moderator

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    I stand corrected, I reread the post and there it was, PaulinKansas caught it right off. Glad to have you here Paulin keep us straight. :D
     
  10. PaulinKansas

    PaulinKansas Elite Refuge Member

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    what are some good pre-emergent herbicides? this is my 2nd season to have some dove plots (from a reclaimed woody pasture) and the broadleaf stuff seems to get pretty thick in the month or two before i plant. i do realize that it's too late for the 2002 planting season, but want something for spring 2003.

    also, i have some rental apartments on a busy street. i'm trying to make the lawn the best looking lawn on the street. dandelions and other small broadleafs keep popping up. 2,4d works, but it doesn't keep new weeds from growing.

    i tried to buy some banvel (dicamba) but 2.5 gallons is the smallest quantity i could find.
     

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