Switch Grass . I am not the biggest fan of a huge switchgrass plantings but I'll keep doing them in certain cases & do feel like deer utilize them if "put together right". Fields can begin being grazed when plants are 10 to 12 inches tall, and should be grazed down to 4 inches within two weeks. A clean field of roundup ready soybeans planted from the previous year also makes a great planting site to establish switchgrass bedding areas for deer. Check out this, "Switchgrass Plantings For Deer Guide". Coverage: 10lb. Deer had many options for bedding areas surrounding the field, that offered them the potential to feed twice during the daytime hours within their bedding areas. Planting switchgrass for deer bedding areas has become an essential tool that I commonly use for holding those big mature bucks on my property. It’s one of the dominant species of the tallgrass prairie, and can grow up to six feet tall. Then livestock should be removed and the pasture allowed to recover. Next year I plan to take a larger 20 acre field out of crop production and plant it in switchgrass and begin planting a few trees in it. When planting for wildlife, reduce the seeding rate by 50-60% (e.g., 2-3 lbs PLS per acre). A herbicide can be applied within a few days of planting switchgrass and should control any weeds, as well as the small grain crop. The stem is round, hollow, and usually, has a reddish tint. Read More. This will also reduce the predator factor effect, by increasing the openess of the planting, as well as established escape routes within the "maze". Here are the basics for creating your switchgrass deer bedding pockets: 1) In the Spring, spray when the weeds are 5-15" and growing aggressively, with a mix containing 2 quarts per acre of Glyphosate and 1 pint per acre of 2-4D. Buy now . Your goal should always be to hide deer within ther preferred hotspots of food and cover, and a switchgrass planting is a great way to accomplish a very high quality screen. Above: P. virgatum ‘Northwind Ozz’. 4. This cuts down on the competition for switchgrass to become established. Rowed conifer plantings are also great for screening habitat to allow you to access undetected to deer stands, in particular along parcel borders. There has been a lot of information out there to help property owners establish switchgrass for wildlife. nathan from Minnesota asks, Planting switchgrass for deer habitat does make some sense, but I have never been a big fan of it. The purpose of native grass planting is to establish a cover of native grasses that will enhance the landscape. I have purchased from Pheasants Forever, Ernst Seed, and Real World Wildlife Products. Depending on your soils, vegetation, and seed bank, as many as 2 chemical … The seeding rate for switchgrass is 5-6 lbs of pure live seed (PLS) per acre for forage and biomass crops. This warm-season grass blooms in mid- to late- summer. The next problem is that if the food value is too high within the bedding area (clover, alfalfa), there is little need for deer to actually leave the bedding area until after dark, which would be similar to offering a stand of white oaks within a bedding area, or even an apple orchard. Panicum virgatum, commonly known as switchgrass, is a perennial warm season bunchgrass native to North America, where it occurs naturally from 55°N latitude in Canada southwards into the United States and Mexico.Switchgrass is one of the dominant species of the central North American tallgrass prairie and can be found in remnant prairies, in native grass pastures, and naturalized along roadsides. Planting straight switch grass instead of “Bedding in a Bag” is the best option on wetter sites such as creek or river bottoms where other grasses do not do as well. Plant in early spring. One of the most valuable traits of Panicum virgatum as a garden plant is its nearly year-round interest. You may need to adjust the planting time to your growing region. Not using chemicals takes a few strategies including several mowing’s through the summer until the beginning of August. 50 lb bag size not included. Another strategy is to plant 10' wide with switchgrass, and 10' wide with Egyptian Wheat, eventually converting the Egyptian Wheat to switchgrass, to create a 20' wide pure switchgrass screening within 2-3 years. Switchgrass commonly referred to as a NWSG, which stands for native warm season grass is a type of grass that starts growing later in the season usually around the end of April to mid May depending on location and climate. Forestburg Switchgrass is a perennial native grass that grows 3-5 feet tall. Switchgrass seedlings are not vigorous, and their productivity during the initial year is very poor. Plan on $50 to $80 per acre, depending on the amount and price of the seed that you purchased, as well as the cost of the chemicals used. The seeds are eaten by turkeys, pheasants, quail, doves, and songbirds. Switchgrass has a reputation for being difficult to establish; however, if proper and timely planting procedures are performed, switchgrass can become well established in a minimal amount of time. It will include minor terrain changes that you do with a tractor to enhance buck bedding. Im also looking to make my property into a thicker deer bedding area or nesting area for turkeys/pheasants. Once the switchgrass planting was installed, the deer relocated to the neighbors land across the street and the deer stopped bedding within the 7 acres. However, as you move closer to full-cover regions, that is not the case. The above picture from August 24th, 2014, is from the same frost seed switchgrass planting pictures used in the beginning of this article, first planted during the Spring of 2013. 1. Bedding cover, hunter access, downwind blocking features and the overall reduction of herd stress are all reasons to consider a switchgrass planting on your land. But in the area of Northern MI where I was visiting with my client, switchgrass had proven to be a very poor choice due to several reasons: What that means is that as the acres of cover and numbers of predators increase, deer prefer to bed withing areas of higher visibility, which directly relates to how far that they can see in any one direction while bedding. When frost-seeding it is important that the site be totally free of established grasses. Photograph by David J. Stang via Wikimedia. Forums > Michigan Hunting > Michigan Whitetail Deer Hunting > Whitetail Deer Habitat > Switchgrass planting Discussion in ' Whitetail Deer Habitat ' started by shutherdown , IQDM. It is vital to not plant switchgrass seeds any deeper than ½ inch. Erosion Control 3 items. You might as well get the soil sample, do as the soil sample says for what your planting and make sure the majority of weeds are gone and prep right. By planting switchgrass at a rate of 10#s, you can create a nearly impassable structure of tangled grasses, by both you and the local deer herd! Switchgrass is used for pasture and makes a good quality hay when mowed prior to seedhead formation. The timing for frost seeding would typically take place at least 4 weeks prior to the typical Spring green-up in your area. And when it is finally time to plant, here is a recipe that can provide you with outstanding results, with a minimum amount of expense or equipment. Switchgrass is widely adapted and found throughout the United States with the exception of the West Coast. The thing to be mindful of is the germination rate and purity of the seed. Once you get switchgrass established it will provide cover 15 to 20 years. This offers an outstanding opportunity for you to plant a thick stand of grass to be used on the downwind and approach side, of your stand locations. The stem is round, hollow, and usually, has a reddish tint. Switchgrass varieties have often been used in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) and Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program (WHIP) as a component of native plant mixes. You can make a difference. Switchgrass is easily identified by a small nest of hair where the blades attach to the sheath. I had a farm where it had a solid 10 acre bottom of switch, never had a deer bed in it, nothing. Note: the godfather of switchgrass was doubletree, he was the pioneer in frost seeding and chemical treatments to establish switchgrass. Switchgrass is one of the easiest forms of wildlife cover to plant and if planted correctly, switchgrass can be fully established after only 2 Summers of growth! The habitat that surrounded my client's land featured 100s of more of potential bedding areas, than actual deer. But this is in this list because the moment it blooms, it extends another 2 to 3 feet and provide excellent cover for deers. Plant Details. This can be accomplished through chemical treatments in the fall or planting an annual food source in the establishment area. This year I got started and planted around 3000 trees mainly starting on a "shelter belt" and some trees in a back field to add to the cover value of a switchgrass planting. Does anyone have any experience with Southern Variety Alamo Switchgrass plantings in Michigan? Switchgrass, a tough ornamental grass that stands up to a variety of harsh conditions, adds both texture and color to a garden. Frost seeding is the cold stratification process to help germination on a hard seed like switchgrass. It will spread slowly over time and make stunning vertical accents wherever it is planted. Clearly the Real World switchgrass has better standability and offers better bedding cover for wildlife. When you purchase 20 pounds or more of any 5 lb or 25 lb size products. Mar 7, 2018. planting. Make sure that you plant within an area that will receive at least 7-8 hours of daily sunlight during the growing season. The tallest switchgrass will grow 6 to 8 foot tall. From what I have experienced through switchgrass plantings from Iowa to Minnesota to Delaware and most points between, switchgrass may be one of the most versatile and misunderstood plantings for deer. However, even with a lack of immediate growth, I excpected the deer to immediately begin relating to the switchgrass planting following the discing. The soil temperature should be over 60 degrees when you plant. Screening various interior islands or lines within a food plot is another great way to reduce the stress among the local deer population. By summer the wine colored foliage is numerous and unmistakable, just as the red blooms arise. Switchgrass Planting Instructions. Weed competition in your establishment year will be your biggest hurdle in establishment. Switchgrass Planting Instructions. In many locations deer will not typically bed within switchgrass alone, but in plantings that are at a rate of 10#s, it is nearly impossible to do so. 50 lb bag size not included. Cattle 3 items. Hardwood regeneration areas following major timber harvests, lowland diversity mixes of red osier dogwood, red maple, conifers and aspen provided the perfect blend of "food with a view". Apr 24, 2018. Native/Restoration 3 items. Switchgrass offers excellent winter cover, even in high snow and wind conditions for all wildlife. This is due to the small-hard-round switchgrass seed which does require the specialized equipment needed to ease the job of planting those fluffy seeds of other species. Switchgrass is widely adapted and found throughout the United States with the exception of the West Coast. By broadcasting 8-10 pounds per acre for a deer screening, you can make sure that your planting is thick enough to keep the deer from seeing your, or each other. Please read these instructions completely before starting your switchgrass planting project!It could save you a lot of time, money and disappointment. *Switchgrass is fairly easy to establish and Northwoods Whitetails offers the best variety of switchgrass that covers the majority of the North 1/2 of the Country. “Small equipment” But when working with clients, I always recommend chemical applications to ensure a good final product. I will always be a farmer at heart. If possible plant after no-till soybeans as no-till corn fields have rougher terrain that can make harvesting of biomass difficult. There are several bedding mixes that include a mix of various clovers and alfalfa in an attempt to offer a food value within the bedding area. 50lb. In the spring, switchgrass can be frost seeded around February or March. Make sure to check them out! bag covers 10 acres. Another advantage that switchgrass offers is ease of planting versus most other warm season native grasses. Switchgrass is a warm season grass and will not germinate until soil temps reach 50 degrees. The previous habitat on the 7 acres was a mix of lowland shrubs, conifers and pockets of hardwood regen. I have not seen that the deer use it much in my hunting area, but I assume in areas with limited cover, they would use it more. Before planting switchgrass, the site should be well cultivated to accommodate the long taproot, which will eventually grow 10 feet long or more. The best method to establish switchgrass is to focus your efforts on weed control the year prior to planting. It provides excellent nesting and winter cover for pheasants and other birds. 6. Hay 3 items. Apr 26, 2020 - Planting Cave in Rock Switchgrass with a harrow drag. The best time to plant switchgrass is in the winter. Switchgrass is used for pasture and makes a good quality hay when mowed prior to seedhead formation. Related products. In recent years interest in biofuel research has generated substantial interest in developing new varieties of Switchgrass as well as new management strategies. Than I encourage you to follow along, because I am excited to discuss these easy, strategic methods for getting the job done. Like many North American prairie grasses, switch grass is a long-lived, warm-season grower. It is also important to remember that switchgrass is a slow grower, so weed control is very important in the first … Conclusion The northern MI client's switchgrass offered a fairly quick solution: Take the tractor with a disc attached, and create the desired maze and pocket effect within the planting. ... Search results for: 'switchgrass' Free Shipping. Wildlife 3 items. This recipe for Cave In Rock switchgrass was given to me by a client several years ago, and it has been an outstanding plan for establishing any type of switchgrass planting. Switchgrass is a hardy plant that can survive in soil that isn't very rich. 2. Filed under: Ask Grant, Habitat Management ← Grant's Answers — Ask Grant. Forenststburg does not have the height on drier soils to create good whitetail cover. Wildlife 3 items. Fall applications can include glyphosate and 2-4 D to control grasses and broadleaf weeds. *My client with 40 acres in lower MI, has used his switchgrass plantings to offer an incredible bedding compliment to his large, destination food sources, as well as for screening along the county road. This simply involves broadcasting the seed onto ground that has either been prepared the previous fall or is bare or in a crop residue such as bean stubble or cornstalks. If you choose not to use chemicals, you can mow the field 3 times the first year when the weeds and grasses reach a height of 8-12" high, and then once the following Spring. What should you sceen? Young plants are ideal for container interest, but the thick rhizomes will fill small pots quickly. Mowing the field in the establishment year may be required even when using chemicals depending on weed competition. Question . Switchgrass can be planted a variety of ways. This grass is low maintenance, deer resistant, and drought, heat, salt, pollution and black walnut tolerant! The question i have is there any problems with the switchgrass taking over the food plot in the future? Your entire screening goal should be to keep the deer from seeing you, and the deer from seeing each other. It can be seeded singly or in mixtures for warm season forage production or as a wildlife habitat planting. Deer Creek Seed Due to COVID-19 we are temporarily suspending customer pickups until further notice. Although the % of conifers were a little light, the area was still a fairly decent form of Northern MI daytime habitat mix, while being the preferred bedding acres for a handful of deer. My travel corridors and access screening do not have any forbs or other food sources in them. Quite sturdy, even when dry or dormant, it stands through winter (unless your area enjoys heavy snow falls), providing essential cover for birds. Dale D. Wolf, Extension Agronomist, Forages, Virginia Tech, and David A. Fiske, Extension Agent. Switchgrass is an excellent food source for livestock, and is especially palatable before plants flower, but its quality and palability decline rapidly as it approaches heading. Depending on your soils, vegetation, and seed bank, as many as 2 chemical applications are recommended in the fall prior to planting. Cave In Rock is from what I have experienced, the most widely used and planted switchgrass variety. Because switchgrass is a perennial plant (great for landscaping and for deer bedding around perennial food plots), you should know it will be difficult to control weeds once the grass is established. Read More. Deer feed 5 times in a 24 hour period, including twice during the daytime bedding hours. The use of chemicals will greatly improve the quality of the stand through reduced weed competition. Special Note: Switchgrass is a North American native grass that is easy to grow and has a small ecological footprint. Switchgrass holds up well under heavy snow and provides good fall-winter cover for rabbits and other small mammals, ducks, pheasants, and quail. To accomplish this goal, common seeding rate recommendations throughout the U.S., including the southern Great Plains, are 5 pounds PLS/acre for switchgrass. I would like to increase the holding power of the farm for deer. Due to the high predator factor in the area, including wolves (UP of MI), I encouraged the landowner to open up to 50% of the interior of the bedding area for native regeration opportunities. Plant as soon as the soil is workable but before the last frost. On our 250 acre Iowa farm, we have 100 acres in CRP. Simazine is not a restricted use pesticide and can be used as an alternative to atrazine. IA CP25 30-10 Standard $ 110.00 /acre. I also always preach that as a property owner you should have a clear and concise plan to follow for any and all improvements that you are doing on your property. Jun 8, 2017 - Although the "end goal" should vary greatly from parcel to parcel, don't underestimate the power of easy switchgrass plantings for deer on your land. Dacotah grows 3-4 feet tall, and has a much earlier maturity than other cultivars. The small grain should be killed with herbicide to remove competition with the switchgrass seedlings. Deer Bedding Area Design for Giant Miscanthus or Switch Grass is a mapping and layout plan completed by Greg and mailed and emailed directly to you. I also encourage your to try the easy, low-resource, but highly effective method of frost seeding your next switchgrass planting; it may end up being a much easier process than you think! Erosion Control: Switchgrass is perhaps our most valuable native grass on a wide range of sites. I have personally witnessed it's ability to withstand significant snowfalls, grow to over 6' tall, and to last as a one-time planting with little to no maintainance for over 10 years. Pasture 3 items. Planting straight switch grass instead of “Bedding in a Bag” is the best option on wetter sites such as creek or river bottoms where other grasses do not do as well. There are few definitive comparisons on whether a seedbed prepared using clean tillage or some form of minimum tillage is the better method for establishing switchgrass. Woodlot edges, bedding areas, hunter access routes, ponds, orchards and food plots are all very good habitat features to plant switchgrass along side. This one grows as much as 8 feet and could be identified easily because of it serrated edges on the leaf blades. However don't be fooled that the practice is also great for wildlife, in particular for deer. By keeping your highest quality food sources on the outside and away from the bedding area, you will place yourself into position to enjoy highly defined afternoon deer movements, from preferred daytime bedding areas, to evening food sources. Switchgrass is easily identified by a small nest of hair where the blades attach to the sheath. A large portion of switchgrass plantings can be used for various screening practices which will be discussed next, but here are a few tips to make sure that you are getting the most out of your goals for producing quality bedding opportunities: 1. Conclusion. IA CP23 Standard $ 115.00 /acre. Performs well on a wide range of soils. When you purchase 20 pounds or more of any 5 lb or 25 lb size products. Red Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum 'Shenandoah') begins to take on its purple hues in spring. IA CP25 20-20 Economy* *Economy Mixes Include Introduced Clovers. If you're concerned about your soil quality, check the type of switchgrass you have and look it up to make sure it likes the ground where you live. Since it’s a native species, it’s quite low maintenance, and there's no need to pre-treat the soil before planting. In a flat, Northern Ohio ag region you may be able to stuff 40 deer into a 10 acre field of switchgrass plantings because they have no other bedding choice. Switchgrass can be successfully established using several seeding practices. I feel like I can grow most plants and have experience with everything from field crops to tobacco and even flowering plants. Im thinking of planting some tall thick switchgrass all the way around the food plot so its not visible from the road. Switchgrass produces large seeds on a spangled-type seed head. The stem is round, hollow, and usually has a reddish tint. Question . It is highly adaptable to a wide range of soils and growing conditions. Lindheimer’s Muhly Grass This plant is only 3 ft tall and has a width of 3ft too. Although, as a warm-season grass, it is slow to start in the spring, after it materializes it keeps embellishing the landscape with an ever-changing color show. bag covers 2 acres. This basin will help to collect water from rainfall and irrigation often reducing the need for hand-watering. As an annual, Egyptian Wheat can be an outstanding short term solution, while a planting of switchgrass can be considered a great long term option. Switchgrass will grow to a height of 6 feet or more, so it makes super escape cover for deer. I had to replant about 6 acres of crp and I actually mowed and sprayed (April), about two weeks later repeated, then about three weeks later I sprayed again. My strategy is to plant straight switchgrass and in the spring of year 2, I spray the switchgrass with gly and 2-4 D and seed my wildflower mix. 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