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#183884 - 09/17/09 12:56 PM CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS?
DAMONE Offline
Lunker

Registered: 04/03/06
Posts: 111
Loc: usa
Hello Everyone.
Just curious how everyone cuts the grass or weeds around their ponds. I have been using a regular old push lawn mower but was thinking of getting one of those Dr. Field or Swisher brush mower/ cutters that you walk behind. They are a bit pricy though. Anyone have one of those ? How well do they work?
Thanks
Damone

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#183891 - 09/17/09 03:02 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: DAMONE]
lrb945 Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 1
Loc: mo
damone--actually, cutting vegetation within 25 feet of the bank of your pond is not a wise practice. this is known as a "riparian zone" and maintaining good, native plants in this area is essential to healthy pond life. in addition to keeping the banks from slowly, sometimes rapidly, caving in, the roots of these plants serve as a runoff filter. if excess nutrient is taken up by land plants before it can get into your water, you will be spared the vexation of masses of filamentous algae which contribute rapidly to the eutrophication of your pond and make fishing a nightmare. in addition, the use of large wheeled or tracked machinery near the pond edge will compact the soil, making it less porous and less likely to absorb runoff. mowing small paths through the taller growth with a hand mower or weed eater for the purpose of access is far less damaging.

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#183892 - 09/17/09 03:23 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: lrb945]
cliffbrook Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/03/06
Posts: 274
Loc: Marshall County Iowa
lrb945
great first post, welcome.

however, i mow mine, well the big one, usually. my smaller upper pond does not get mowed close.

but, lrb, keep em coming

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#183893 - 09/17/09 04:29 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: cliffbrook]
Chuck Fikes Offline
Lunker

Registered: 03/27/07
Posts: 25
Loc: Aubrey Texas
We have a DR mower at work that gets used almost daily with the finish cut deck(optional)and monthly with the brush deck. We have been using it to mow our City Hall and areas that require higher maintenance that we cannot get into with a 72" cut deck mower. It works really good and geting parts is not a big issue. This DR has been in operation for the city that I work for almost 4 years and is the second one we have had in the last 10 years.
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Asterperious

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#183913 - 09/17/09 10:02 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Chuck Fikes]
rexcramer Offline
Lunker

Registered: 12/31/07
Posts: 285
Loc: Birch Run, MI
I have most of the pond bank lined with rock, and my 4wd lawnmower is able to get most of the grass that I need to get to. On the back side it gets a little tall on the steep bank, but as was stated earlier it doesnt hurt anything and helps the frogs and other wildlife have a little protection
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#183924 - 09/17/09 11:09 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: rexcramer]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
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Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
The DR is expensive but it is a great mower that lasts forever! I love it...


_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#183957 - 09/18/09 09:43 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: CJBS2003]
eddie_walker Offline
Lunker

Registered: 11/23/05
Posts: 773
Loc: Just North of Tyler, Texas
I keep mine mowed with a finish mower behind my small 35hp tractor. The first year that I started mowing it after it was full, I got stuck every single time for the entire growing season. I joked that I was cursed because I had such good luck with the weather when building it, but I think it was just because the ground was still soft and absorbing the water from the pond. The following year, I was able to mow right up next to the water without getting stuck, and have been able to do so ever since. If I'm having a get together out here, I'll mow a second time with my riding mower to get the grass even shorter, but otherwise, the finish mower does a real nice job. For me, I really like the look of it when it's kept mowed, and for everyone else, it's too scary to walk in my grass with all the snakes and bugs that are found here. I shot a cotton mouth on my dam two weeks ago, and saw another the week before while mowing. Keeping the grass cut short is the only way to enjoy the pond and still be safe from the critters the also live here.

Eddie
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It's not how many ideas you have, but how many you make happen.

3/4 and 4 acre ponds.

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#183981 - 09/18/09 03:29 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: eddie_walker]
Blaine Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 449
Loc: Central Indiana
If you are man enough to wrestle that DR along a sloped water edge... Hats off to you. My experience is that 250 lbs. beast always wanted to pull toward the downhill slope. Mix a little mud or a 2-4" errosion shelf and your in for a fight. The problem is that you can't position yourself on the downhill side for better leverage due to the waters edge.

There is not a better brush mower for fence rows and level ground (as seen on TV). However, throw in some tighter and frequent turns, you're are in for a workout!
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2008, 2011 & 2012 conference attendee.
Striving to be the person that my dog already thinks I am.

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#183986 - 09/18/09 04:31 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Blaine]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
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Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
It's a workout... When you put it in 2 wheel instead of 1 wheel drive it can climb nasty hills. I mow steep mountain roads with PA with it regularly. It is heavy, I will agree with that!
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#183989 - 09/18/09 05:13 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: CJBS2003]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4214
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...
I vote for leaving the pond edge in emergent plants and "natural" fauna, but I don't have poisonous water snakes. Our fixed dock connected to a floating dock gives us water access (in addition to our kayaks). We use a finish mower to keep trails around our ponds and wetlands groomed for walking, but they are back from the pond edge to encourage wildlife.

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#183990 - 09/18/09 05:13 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: CJBS2003]
Blaine Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/15/05
Posts: 449
Loc: Central Indiana
I agree that it can climb some nasty hills... Vertically. Run it laterally along a pond edge and it's a whole other animal. Throw in a few trees along the path... Be ready to work, hard. 1 or 2 wheel drive.
_________________________

2008, 2011 & 2012 conference attendee.
Striving to be the person that my dog already thinks I am.

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#184017 - 09/19/09 03:39 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Blaine]
CJBS2003 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame
Lunker

Registered: 01/19/09
Posts: 10457
Loc: northern VA
Yes, my back and arms hurt after a day or two of working the beast...
_________________________
Men and fish are alike. They both get into trouble when they open their mouths.

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#184030 - 09/19/09 09:05 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: CJBS2003]
lassig Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
How about using a tow behind mower like the DR or better yet (in my opinion) Kunz Engineering http://www.kunzeng.com/. I maintain my trails and food plots with a 57" Rought cut. The nice thing about this is you can offset the mover from the ATV and cut to the waters edge but not be close to it. THe rought cut mower leaves a reasonable finish look (not perfect) but can also handle brush up to and exceeding 2" in diameter.
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#184037 - 09/19/09 10:05 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: lassig]
Rangersedge Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Lunker

Registered: 05/22/03
Posts: 836
Loc: Illinois
I don't mow close to mine anymore. As we were mowing around the lake (15 foot batwing mower behind tractor), we saw four or five (don't remember) different mink. Thinking about it that night, I started having regrets. The mink is a primary predator of muskrats so having mink around is a good thing. I have heard that one of the primary predators of mink is owls; but suppose that coyotes come in also. Eliminating those taller grasses/weeds along the shoreline eliminates their cover making them more vulnerable to both. The next big wake up call came the next time we visited it. There were hundreds of geese there. Apparently, they liked the fact that they could now walk around easier and see any approaching coyotes. Geese poop a lot. I didn't need the nutrients or the mess. The lake now has a more natural look.
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#184045 - 09/19/09 11:00 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Rangersedge]
lassig Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
I don't plan on mowing around the complete pond edge. Just the front of the dam and the building site. Most of the pond edge will be planted into native plants and let go
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#184199 - 09/21/09 11:58 AM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: lassig]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13538
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I have/had copious amounts of ragweed on my dam. It was clobbering the bermuda. So, I got out my string trimmer and went to work. I got the front side done in a couple of shots but haven't messed with the back. It's just too much work. Next Spring, I'm going to spray when it is new and vulnerable.

I don't have the guts to get the tractor, even with 4wd, on the slope.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#184243 - 09/21/09 02:48 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Dave Davidson1]
RC51 Offline
Ambassador
Lunker

Registered: 07/06/09
Posts: 4237
Loc: Arkansas
Well that's one thing I don't have to worry about as I have trees all the way around my pond so no mowing for me!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
_________________________
The only difference between a rut and a Grave is the depth. So get up get out of that rut and get moving!! Time to work!!

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#184263 - 09/21/09 04:19 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: RC51]
esshup Offline
Moderator
Ambassador
Field Correspondent

Lunker

Registered: 01/26/09
Posts: 24029
Loc: Grovertown, Indiana
DD1:

For weeds in grass, I've had really good luck with spraying Trimec in the Spring, and Trimec Plus in the 2nd week of August which takes care of the weeds that sprouted after the first application, and any crabgrass that sprouted.
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3/4 to 1 1/4 ac pond LMB, SMB, PS, BG, RES, CC, YP, Bardello BG, (RBT & Blue Tilapia - seasonal).

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#184287 - 09/21/09 05:42 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: esshup]
Dave Davidson1 Offline
Moderator
Lunker

Registered: 01/04/06
Posts: 13538
Loc: Hurst & Bowie, Texas
I'll be spraying next Spring. I finally got time to mess with it during the summer on a 105 degree day. I figure everything evaporated as soon as it hit. Then I found a cool day and sprayed again. Noting happened. Then I found out that ragweed is double tough and has to be sprayed in the Spring when it starts growing. I have no desire to use a weedeater again on it.
_________________________
It's not about the fish. It's about the pond. Take care of the pond and the fish will be fine. PB subscriber since before it was in color.

Without a sense of urgency, Nothing ever gets done.

Boy, if I say "sic em", you'd better look for something to bite. Sam Shelley Rancher and Farmer Muleshoe Texas 1892-1985 RIP

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#184315 - 09/21/09 07:35 PM Re: CUTTING AROUND YOUR PONDS? [Re: Dave Davidson1]
lassig Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
 Originally Posted By: Dave Davidson1

I don't have the guts to get the tractor, even with 4wd, on the slope.


This is where the pull behind mower and ATV/UTV shines. much lower to the ground and much more comfortable on the slopes. I totally understand what you mean with the tractor and the slopes. I had some high puker monents when tilling the land around the pond to plant it
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