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#301007 - 07/28/12 12:37 AM Best grass for pond dam?
ericg Offline


Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Arkansas
What is the best grass for a pond dam in northwest Arkansas and what is the best way to make it stick without washing down?

Thanks,
Eric

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#301010 - 07/28/12 01:35 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
jludwig Offline


Registered: 05/14/11
Posts: 1413
Loc: Central Kansas
Bermuda grass.

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#301015 - 07/28/12 05:51 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Dave Davidson1 Online   content
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Bedmuda is best. On a new pond, it is kinda dependent on the time of year. In late fall, wheat or any other cereal grain seed is good. If in the Spring, I use Bermuda seed. Yeah, I lose some seed. To spread the water running off the dam, I toss in brush to slow it down and spread it out. Once it gets established remove the brush.
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#301029 - 07/28/12 08:44 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
Has anybody tried Zoysia? Seeing a lot more of it here, and people have good reports on it.
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#301060 - 07/28/12 02:04 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: FireIsHot]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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That's normally grown via plugs, not seeds. It's a warm season grass, and goes dormant when it gets cooler. It will spread, so that may or may not be a good thing.

To get grass established, you could also cover the area in jute netting that is made to help retain seeds.

Just remember every time grass seed dries out, you lose 50% of the ungerminated seed. That's why frequent light waterings are needed for seed.
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#301096 - 07/28/12 08:57 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
liquidsquid Offline


Registered: 11/20/11
Posts: 1890
Loc: East Bloomfield, NY USA
Hmm, for kicks I did my dam side with wildflowers. Looks pretty nice except where the leaks are, nothing grows there but cattails. Probably not the best erosion preventative, but it is like a fireworks show.
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#301171 - 07/29/12 04:47 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
ericg Offline


Registered: 06/16/11
Posts: 4
Loc: Arkansas
I may try buying some Bermuda sod. The only trouble is I don't have any way to water it. Need some water in the pond.

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#301200 - 07/30/12 12:33 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
esshup Offline
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Registered: 01/26/09
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Don't put it down now if you can't water it, it'll just die.
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#301205 - 07/30/12 08:14 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
Bermuda Sod will fry in the heat with no watering, and it'll be lost money and lost effort.

I've had good luck with waiting till things cools off in the Fall, and getting a good stand of annual rye grass started first. Rye grass is relatively cheap in 50lb sacks at the feed store, and if covered with hay, or cheap erosion matting, you would probably get good coverage.

Rye tends to float, so some type of matting or netting is a good idea. If not, you'll have a beautiful patch of rye grass at the bottom of the dam.

How wide and tall is your dam?
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#301332 - 07/31/12 09:32 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
David Connor Offline


Registered: 01/05/12
Posts: 143
Loc: Hughes Springs, TX
Once you have established Rye, Can you just come back and overseed burmuda in the spring? Someone was telling me that you can plant both Rye and Burmuda in Late summer or early fall as temps start to decrease. As long as the burmuda root gets down in the soil it will come back in the spring. Does anyone agree with this?

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#301336 - 07/31/12 10:16 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
My experience with Bermuda seed, is that a fall planting may be hit or miss. I believe Bermuda takes a soil temp of 65-70 degrees, and in the fall, the soil is cooling down instead of warming up. But I'm sure others have had different experiences.

You absolutely can seed Bermuda where the rye was, but I would mow the rye prior to the Bermuda planting so the seeds can propagate correctly. I've tried several ways of seeding, and in areas where the rye wasn't cut, it laid down and almost matted. This can keep the very small Bermuda seeds from actually getting to the soil.

If you've got hay pastures around Hughes Springs, you may have seen the incredible rye growth in TX this last Spring. Our Coastal Bermuda pastures didn't really start growing well until the rye was cut and sunlight could better warm the soil.

The main advantage to me in a Rye/Bermuda planting is that the Rye will germinate and grow well in the cooler season, stabilize the soil during the winter and spring rains,and when you're ready to plant Bermuda, the existing Rye sprigs will help keep the soil stabilized while you water the new Bermuda.
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#301343 - 07/31/12 11:40 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Omaha Offline
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Registered: 12/06/08
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Loc: Nebraska
This is a very interesting topic for me since I've continued construction on my pond and will be inquiring about this shortly. In SE Nebraska the combination of rye/bermuda grass in the fall is ok or am I reading that rye now and bermuda next spring (after mowing the rye) is best?
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#301359 - 07/31/12 02:20 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
lassig Offline
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Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
For me it has always been best to plant grass or legumes (clover/alfalfa) in the fall, actually late august in my area. Want to have a good 60 to 80 days for the seed to germinate and grow before winter sets in. The reason that fall is better than spring in my opinion is that you don't get the weed competition and once you get a rain to germinate the seed the dew most mornings will keep it going till the next rain.

Realize this didn't address that type of grass to plant but hopefully it helps with getting what ever you choose to get started. BTW here in west central IL I prefer tall fescue, good drought tolerance and looks descent.
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#301375 - 07/31/12 05:37 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
Omaha, to be honest, I wasn't sure common Bermuda grew that far north. My opinion is just what has worked best for me here in North TX, and I'm certainly no agronomist.

We had incredible rye growth this year because of the mild winter, and we had rye that was easily 3' high.

Mowing it in the spring when the soil warmed up accomplished 2 things for me.
1) It exposed the soil to warm quicker, and helped the Bermuda seeds get to the soil.
2) The rye choppings acted as a mulch to help keep Bermuda seeds in place and retain moisture when they were watered.

When I added my lake, my dam turned out to be 1,050' wide. The rye grass was a life saver for me, and I still fight to keep the Bermuda alive with no watering. It is 104 degrees here as I'm typing this.

If I was you, I'd get with the local Co Op or your Ag store for planting schedules. I'd bet their advice is better than mine. smirk
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#301376 - 07/31/12 05:51 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Omaha Offline
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Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4508
Loc: Nebraska
I was planning on doing that Fire, or at least someone local that has knowledge of what grasses would take hold. But I like your plan of rye as the base, then a grass over the top. I was planning something similar, but I think I was just leaning towards hoping natives took hold after the rye died off. I like the grass idea better.
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#301378 - 07/31/12 07:17 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
Moderator


Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
This whole subject is why I'd asked about Zoysia before. My thought was that the plugs could be planted right at the water line, and eliminate the need for watering to get them started. Certain strains of Zoysia are said to be more drought resistant, tolerant to heat, and take less fertilizer. I believe they're starting to even use it for football fields. But, this just be salesmen talking.

But, the deal breaker for me was weed control. I don't believe it can be sprayed with MSMA, or 2 4-D, so I'm not sure it could battle the TX weeds for control, and I'm not wanting to spray that close to the water.

That's why I was curious if anybody had tried it.
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#301383 - 07/31/12 08:08 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
ozarkstriperscom Offline


Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: Mansfield, mo
We have used zoysia sod on numerous customers lawns. It does very well in full sun and is drought tolerant. For some without the deep pockets we have purchased sod and made our own "plugs" with good success. You can spray it when the zoysia is dormant to kill most cool season weeds but it seems that the control is limited where there is abundant warm season weed growth. If the weeds get out of hand they do not need to get to tall before they will begin to shade out the zoysia. This is just what I have observed after going back to customers lawns a year or two after completing the job. The customers that have a good lawn care program set up for their zoysia have great success. The customers who are not vigilant in caring for their zoysia have limited success.

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#301384 - 07/31/12 08:26 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
ozarkstriperscom Offline


Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: Mansfield, mo
Omaha you may look into native buffalo grass or a buffalo/zoysia combo. The only problem may be the expense. We have used buffalo grass before on areas that did not have irrigation and zosia was not an option. It did very well at filling in and suppressing most weed growth. Also another option that may work for you is clover/wildflower. I did this on one of my berms after I got my pond built and was really wishing I had done it to my dam. I planted Clover seed and perenial wildflower seed very heavy in August. The clover came up first then after the wildflowers. Nothing bloomed the first year but everything developed enough of a root system to come back in the spring. The next spring I overseed it again with clover, perenial and annual wildflower seed. I waited til it germinated and got up a couple inches then fertilized. The annuals bloomed great along with some of the perenials I had planted in the fall. This spring I did not have to over seed and I had a pretty good showing despite the drought. The key is to pick wildflowers that are drought tolerant;ie blackeyed susans, cone flowers, any daisys, butterfly weed, liatris etc. This year I had planned on adding some of the spreading lilies but decided to hold off til the drought ended. There is some weed control but hit it early and it is not too difficult to keep control. I mow it off after it goes dormant and spot spray it during the growing season.

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#301392 - 07/31/12 09:54 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Omaha Offline
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Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4508
Loc: Nebraska
Good stuff ozark. This is a pond in the woods, so all sorts of weeds are the norm. I'd like temporary soil solidification and also something planted that would stay put and stave off unattactive, or difficult to walk through, weeds. I'm jotting down the ones you suggested to look into.
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#301396 - 07/31/12 10:24 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
ozarkstriperscom Offline


Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: Mansfield, mo
how heavy is the shade?

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#301397 - 07/31/12 10:30 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Omaha Offline
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Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4508
Loc: Nebraska
In some places it's pretty significant, but for the most part the sun will hit most banks pretty well for extended periods of time during the day.
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#301401 - 07/31/12 10:54 PM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
ozarkstriperscom Offline


Registered: 02/06/11
Posts: 329
Loc: Mansfield, mo
I would rule out zoysia if less than 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.. Also plant wildflowers in the sunniest locations. Clover should do well esp if shade tolerant variety is planted. I like really like the clover because of the deer it brings in. Check around but here there are some shade tolerant varieties of wildflowers that may work like astilbe and liriope Just not sure if they are zoned for Neb

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#301419 - 08/01/12 07:22 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
FireIsHot Offline
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Registered: 02/28/11
Posts: 3734
Loc: Emory TX
ozarkstriperscom, thanks for the info. We had tried a clover/Blue Bonnet mix, but I'm positive we didn't do enough to get everything propagated correctly.

You may already know that Blue Bonnets grow like weeds here in TX. The Highway Dept had sowed millions of seeds along the highways, but I see far fewer as far north as I am.
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#301423 - 08/01/12 08:53 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
lassig Offline
Lunker

Registered: 02/04/09
Posts: 941
Loc: Schuyler Co, IL
Omaha,

If you are serious on the wildflowers check out stock seed farms in NE for ones that will work in your area. Remember that wildflowers should be burned every 3 - 5 years to maintain them. I have wildflowers and the stock seed short native mix on the east side of my pond. It is the only thing that is green right now. I am going to reseed the north side of the pond with the short native grass mix. It only gets roughly 2 foot tall and stays green in droughts like this.
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#301428 - 08/01/12 09:25 AM Re: Best grass for pond dam? [Re: ericg]
Omaha Offline
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Registered: 12/06/08
Posts: 4508
Loc: Nebraska
Good thinking lassig. I have spoken with Stock Seeds about some of their other mixes and do get their catalog.
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