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Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
#131821 09/08/08 01:23 PM
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Hello all;

Been a long Summer away from the Forum completing my projects on the spread, I hope all of you are doing well. Finished up my final two ponds for growing out SMB and crossing BG and RES and will have the well work finished in two weeks that will fill and keep ponds topped off. I will post pics eventually - but so far so good.

I have been trying to search for this thread, and I'm fairly certain it exists: I am in Zone 5 and need grass cultivar suggestions for seeding all my dams and other areas devoid of plant life following a couple months of construction.

I am surrounded by little bluestem, brome and wildflowers on my 44 acres of virgin prairie - but need something quickly in place for my dams and around the ponds as I'm experiencing some minor erosion issues.

Slope is 2:1 so I'm thinking I'll need some straw mats as well - was hoping for suggestions on grass types anyone can recommend or has had good experience with.

I'm also concerned I won't be able to water to help germination process...any hints would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance.

TJ


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
teehjaeh57 #131826 09/08/08 01:45 PM
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Are there any goals other than stopping erosion?
For a quick fix I would plant rye now/today in the areas of potential erosion. It needs little moisture to germinate & does so quickly. Then consider if you just want green grass or something else for the whole area.

If you also want to attract wildlife now would be the time to plan for it. Phesant? Quail? Ducks? Deer?


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Ric Swaim #131827 09/08/08 01:56 PM
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Hi Ric

Thanks for your reply - yes, I have nice quail, dove, pheasant, turkey and deer populations - so some kind of a mix that could establish itself quickly would be ideal. I am pretty well versed in lawn management but this dryland stuff is way beyond my expertise. Thanks in advance.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
teehjaeh57 #131909 09/08/08 09:32 PM
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Hey TJ,
2:1...yikes, that's pretty steep. I see the straw erosion blankets in your future. I did some similar work recently; let me know if you haven't tapped the thread. Do you have a source for the straw blankets? I can get you hooked up there, too.
-
Regarding grasses, I'm still experimenting. I hope that by the time I get good at it, I'll be done. Can your NRCS guy help with suggestions? If not, a local seed dealer?

Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #131933 09/09/08 07:26 AM
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For 2:1 slopes, consider ground cover that will not require mowing - 'cause that steep, you likely won't enjoy mowing.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
-S. M. Stirling
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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Theo Gallus #131957 09/09/08 11:33 AM
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Ah, thanks ol faithful Theo and Brettski for picking up the thread...been too long!

I went ahead and was successful in determining cultivars - Cool season mix of Brome, Field Fescue and Rye. This should germinate given a couple of timely rains this Autumn and won't ever exceed 24" and NO - I won't be mowing this.

Reason I went 2:1 - consider it a lesson learned from the threads on the GBH horror stories. I'd rather not have a nosey neighbor report me for targeting a federally protected species.

I've got nearly two acres of slopes that steep to cover, so Brettski I was hoping to save the $$ and just do a straw cover - not the mats. Think I'm doomed? I can't imagine the cost of those mats for all that sq footage....

Thoughts? Suggestions? Rain prayers?

Thanks amigos!

TJ


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #131961 09/09/08 12:29 PM
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Brettski

Just for poos and giggles....do you mind sharing the cost on your straw mats?

TJ


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

[Linked Image from i1261.photobucket.com]


Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
teehjaeh57 #131962 09/09/08 12:29 PM
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Any farmers in your area have old hay? It worked well for me to cover the seed, stop erosion & keep the ground moist to help germination. Just be aware of the weed seed in the hay.


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Ric Swaim #131966 09/09/08 01:22 PM
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I don't know how well the loose hay or straw will adhere to a 2:1 slope. I have my doubts, but let's "ask the man who owns one". Straw dogs...?

What I DO know is that the straw blankets will stay where they are put, including the straw. In fact, the manufacturer expects them to last over a year, providing erosion protection and continued moisture control. The mats that I installed this last spring are in the same condition today as when I put them down (except for sun fade and vegetation growth). I got excellent growth from the perennial rye that I sowed. Then, when the summer hit, the growth stopped and everything turned brown. I freaked a little bit, but also know to hang tight thru the hot months. I was only worried that the growth might not have established enough to allow it to come back later. We walked the dam this last weekend. We just got a few decent rains over the last 3 weeks, and it appears that the rye is coming back. So far, I think this is a success. If nothing else, the straw blankets look good. So good, that if next spring is a bust for re-growth, I will seed again right over the existing straw blanket. Right now, I doubt that will be required.
For the record, I also sowed a fairly strong dose of little bluestem, switchgrass, and Virgina Rye. I hope to see that come to life next year....another good reason to have the straw matting in place for an extended short term.
-
Straw matting was in rolls x 6' long. Each roll has 100 sq yards. I purchased them from Contech with a credit card and had them delivered to one of their customer's yards that is about 20 miles from my home (I greased the yard owner $20 for handling the hand-off). The actual cost of the matting was $.45/sq yard.

For your job, 50 rolls for an acre sure does sound scary. \:o

Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #131968 09/09/08 01:24 PM
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You get a frog strangler, and loose straw or hay will end up at the bottom of a 2:1 slope.


"Live like you'll die tomorrow, but manage your grass like you'll live forever."
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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Theo Gallus #131976 09/09/08 04:13 PM
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Maybe you could dig up some bunches of that Little blue stem and plant it at the top of the erosion ditches for short term patch.
Maybe some in the ditches.


Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
burgermeister #131983 09/09/08 06:21 PM
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How about cleating with a dozer and a mixture of oats and Ferry Morris seed usally works very well the first rain traps the seed in the cleat and top soil fills and holds seed and moisture and in 1 week oats pop and grass follows.

If you use a good starter fertilizer and soak the seed over night and then shoot the banks with a small pump grass will start in three days even with the cold nights if sun has acess Good luck

Last edited by Scott Trava; 09/09/08 06:31 PM.

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Scott Trava #132072 09/10/08 03:36 PM
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I have to concur with Brettski and Theo. Had the same experience last Spring on the same type slope, 20' high, 200' wide. Thinking to save money, I tried renting a straw blower first. Big mistake. I blew a couple hundred dollars (pardon the pun). Got so mad I blew a head gasket. (sorry again). Then blew out my back draggin bales up the slope. (it's hopeless). Finally laid down the bucks for the big mats B talked about. It wasn't that easy on a slope that steep either. But results were remarkable. No erosion period, and rye came up fast and established well. I staggered the mats to save a little bit, so that I had about a 10' gap above and below each one. I would advise anyone with a steep slope to either: a) hire a landscaper to come do it, or b)buy the mats. Trust me.


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
pondsea #132194 09/11/08 03:34 PM
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Sage advice gentlemen - with a slope this severe it looks like I'm going to have to go with the pros. Initially I'm getting the following quotes:

$.14/sq ft Drill seeding, erosion mat and labor

43000 of those puppies in an acre - around $6k right now.

I will keep in touch...I do appreciate everyone's feedback.


Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. ~ Henry David Thoreau

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
teehjaeh57 #132215 09/11/08 07:34 PM
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What about hydro-seed?

Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #132221 09/11/08 08:27 PM
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Would it just wash downslope too, Bski?


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Theo Gallus #132222 09/11/08 08:34 PM
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Where's DIED when ya need him...
It's not like he has other more important things to do right now.

Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #132236 09/11/08 11:08 PM
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Don't know why you require to drill seed if you use the mats too. Unless your dam is dried hard rock clay by now. After my experience, I would like to see 'um muscle that drill seeder on that kind of slope! I bought a cheap shoulder carry seeder and got some good exercise. Only took about two hours to fertilize and seed the whole dam. Then my 15 yr old and I rolled out the mats and staked them down. Not one bit of erosion. Seed took just great.


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
pondsea #132240 09/12/08 12:13 AM
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thanks bski, dont know how much help it really is but here is a thread i started about my hydroseed effort. it was successful but not cheap. hired out, cost ~2k.

dozer tread marks on steep slopes helped to hold it all in. covered all disturbed areas totaling north of 2 acres. used customized native grasses good for erosion control and wildflower mixes..... some details described here:

http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=9289&fpart=1


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
dave in el dorado ca #132299 09/12/08 03:33 PM
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So, Dave...do you think it would adhere to a 2:1 slope? Even without cleat marks? Is there an additive that would assist the stick-to-it'iveness?

Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Brettski #132305 09/12/08 04:00 PM
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after cleating cover with clear plastic and secure to soil cut fertilizer in half and instal air holes


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
Scott Trava #132306 09/12/08 04:22 PM
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searching the memory banks.......

ones i remember that were used include:
shredded newspaper....not pretty but affective, goes away fast

plantago binder (psyllium fiber mulch)

kellog's brand topper mix innoculent...tended to plug spray hose but extremely affective as a sticking agent and provided excellent germination substrate.

dozer cleats were a big plus....do you have a friend or good contractor that wouldnt mind tracking around for half a day?

at least get bids from potential hydroseed contractors and use the activity to pick their brains. there are a variety of additives that can be used alone or in conjunction w/ each other.

see some hydroseed pics here:
http://www.pondboss.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=132309#Post132309


Last edited by dave in el dorado ca; 09/12/08 04:52 PM.

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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
dave in el dorado ca #132759 09/17/08 08:45 PM
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All;

This is great stuff - I've been getting quotes from erosion control firms around Lincoln and the results are all over the board.

Most hydroseeding outfits are skeptical to recommend their services on 2:1 slopes. Yet, I see DIED's project and it certainly looked as though some of his slopes were that severe? This is by far the most economical process unless I do it myself - costs around here are about 2k/acre.

Other firms have come and their recommendations include grading [which I do need], seeding and placement of erosion control straw mats. I have guys quoting from 12k [for TWO ACRES!!!] to 8k. This prospect quite literally is giving me night tremors.

The cost for seed, straw mat and staples runs around 2k for the acre project. I'm almost ready to roll up the sleeves and Git-Er-Done...just need the grading work done by someone which I can find.

Ever get the feeling, when facing a seemingly simple task like planting grass, that "Professinal Advice" has another goal in mind? IE: Raking you across the coals? Something just isn't sitting right with me...

Thanks for everyone's input - you guys have been very helpful - I will be in touch and let you know what solution I end up pursuing.


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
teehjaeh57 #132762 09/17/08 09:34 PM
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tj, kinda depends on what kind of rains will come through. if you get some gully washers after hydroseeding it wont really matter what slope its one. you hope for some initial gentle rains to soak everything in then it sticks good. usually our wet season kicks off with a few small storms before the big ones hit so it worked out for me....i do like yer ideas though, get the grading in and go with DIY straw mats and seed.....good luck and do keep posting.


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Re: Seeding the Dam: Cultivar Suggestions
dave in el dorado ca #132764 09/17/08 09:43 PM
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So, break it down for us if you DIY....
Have you been able to get a pulse on the cost of the mats if you buy them yourself? Seed?
The big variable is who/how to correctly prepare the soil...and how much will it cost. I would be VERY interested in the method planned to correctly and adequately grind down the soil on the slopes to create an ideal seed bed. What equipment would the $12K guy use to till the soil on those slopes?


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