Switch Grass?

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wisbooner3932
 
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Switch Grass?

Postby wisbooner3932 » Fri Apr 29, 2011 11:28 am

Me and my cousin are doing a clover plot in the middle of an idle field so there's still some room to plant around the edges.  Has anybody ever planted switch grass for cover?  Any posotives, negatives, things I should or should not try?  My grandpa's farm doesn't have a lot of holding cover, they more or less just hit his fields to feed so I'm trying to combat that issue.  Thanks for any input. 
You can take my gun, from my cold dead hands.

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jonny5buck
 
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Location: Land of Lincoln

RE: Switch Grass?

Postby jonny5buck » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:52 pm

@Booner...I have planted a ''mix'' of switch grass ,indian grass,and several other native grasses ...but i planted it as a small sanctuary..on a small property...it really isnt even for deer although they do browse in it some,rabbits and several birds love it...

That being said,it seems like you are trying to offer something to make them feel secure and sheltered ? The ''indian grass'' is the main reason i planted and found out later that it could take up to 3yrs before i seen results....the first 2 yrs it grows underground....switchgrass that was in the mix also came up and continues too,but it barely reaches 3ft in a well drained soil...i know it has potential to get 5 or 6ft but i havent seen those results from my sanct'plot......i would also be concerned that airborn seeds from the switchgrass could wind up ruining your plot...long term...

Bottom line i havent heard anything negative about switchgrass,but would be a little leary about on the edge of a clover plot....maybe some native ,quick growing trees like ,dogwood ,willows that you see near marshes could offer the same results with less waiting...?..Or maybe the -indian grass could work if your patient...that seems to grow taller from my experience and no seed heads...just a thought...good luck[8D]

Bob Olsen
 
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RE: Switch Grass?

Postby Bob Olsen » Fri Apr 29, 2011 3:09 pm

Hi Booner, if you'll look at the Breaking news forum, I have a thread about one beautiful farm. I have 68 acres with about 35 acres that is being planted in native grasses this year. I've had a stand of 7 acres of only switch grass for many years and I burn it every two or three years to control the weeds. I have no complaints though. This year I burned my field and they are growing back right now. Soon the F.S. will spray the weeds with Round-up and Plateau to kill the weeds and then my farmer will go and burn what I couldn't burn before. A week or so after the herbicide treatment my farmer will plant my native grass mix of Indian grass, Switch grass and Big Blue Stem. This mix was recommended by Don Higgins. don@higginsoutdoors.com, ask about his book also,I've read it twice. Don said using the Plateau is what will really help the grasses get going this year by keeping the weed competition down.
How many acres do you guy's have? Also if you'll notice the set-up of my farm, the food plot on the East is next to the fenceline and the food plot in the middle will be hunted in the afternoon only when I'm sure the Deer will not be on it. You will not be able to hunt a food plot in the morning without spooking the Deer. That being said, I will get to my stand sites on the East side by coming in from the East and crossing through a small section of trees. In the fall, I'm going to plant a bunch of red cedars for visual cover.

wisbooner3932
 
Posts: 152
Joined: Sun Nov 09, 2008 4:03 pm

RE: Switch Grass?

Postby wisbooner3932 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 10:56 am

Thanks for your input guys.  Johnny, you make a good point about the seeds potentially blowing into clover plot, I never even considered that.  I like the sound of that Indian grass though, I'll have to look into that some more.
 
Bob, it looks like you have a heck of a set-up there!  I didn't realize there was so much maintence involved with switchgrass, though I probably should have expected that since its a native grass.  My Grandpa owns 139 acres but only about 60 are huntable.  The plot is going to be 1/4 acre due to money/equipment restraints but the idle field is 2-3 acres total.  How well would you say the deer use utilize the switchgrass as far as bedding in it?
You can take my gun, from my cold dead hands.

Bob Olsen
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 11:24 am

RE: Switch Grass?

Postby Bob Olsen » Sat Apr 30, 2011 11:57 am

Taking Care of the Native Grasses is not that hard, it only has to be burned every 2 or 3 years to keep the weeds under control.( I wonder if that would work on my girlfriend). The Deer will use the Grasses to birth and hide their Fawns, I heard 2 Bucks fighting in the Switch grass awhile ago at 9 p.m. and I heard the Doe just walking around waiting for the fight to end. The fight was 75 yards away from my trailer. My farm is designed by Don Higgins, so I really can't take credit for the set-up. My best advise is to get in touch with him. I'm not sure about the seeds blowing into your clover, but I would think mowing would take care of that, but if Jonny has noticed it I'm sure he's right. Don can be reached at don@higginsoutdoors.com


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