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#180799 08/28/09 06:46 AM
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This summer I have cleared many of the trees and undergrowth around the pond. I'm planning on planting grass in another month or so.

Several acres of watershed around the pond will need to be seeded, limed, and fertilized. My concern is, if a large rain occurs before the lime and fertilizer have time to soak in, it could be washed into my pond. Three acres worth of fertilizer and hydrated lime could have a disastrous effect on my little 1/4 acre pond and the young fish in it. Any suggestions on how to limit the risk? Would a silt screen work? Straw bales in the main runoff areas? Thanks,
VA

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I think hay bails and silt fencing would certainly reduce the risk. Lightly tilling the lime and fertilizer into the soil may also help with run off.

What species of grass are you planting?

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Mulch Mulch Mulch. 100 bales of straw per acre. Silt fences are a good backup and easy to install.

Straw is way cheaper than reseeding. Tar can be sprayed on in strings to hold the straw in place. Highway contractors used this method a lot before the days of hydroseeding.

My county soil and water will let county landowners use their straw chopper for free. If you have an acre or more to do it's well worth it.


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 Originally Posted By: Ryan Freeze
Mulch Mulch Mulch. 100 bales of straw per acre.

If you're not picky about grass species, hay may be locally cheaper than straw, and has added free seed as a bonus (alas, weed seed is included).

Recommended mulch application method


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Didn't Brettski do hydroseeding around his pond? As I recall it came out quite beautifully...

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At the local auction, hay has been going for $3.50 - $4.00/small bale while I was able to buy hay for $1.00/bale for small bales.


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Try plug aerating a 15' buffer around the pond. Plug aeraators are the ones that produce the little soil "turds" rather than just making holes. The holes in the soil will allow better soil drainage therefore reducing the amount of nutrients that make it into your pond. In my opinion, the best approach to pond management is good watershed management.


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I found the rental of hydroseeders surprisingly cheap, like $150/day. Then I looked at the mulch and fertilizer cost for the machine and found it more than double the cost of traditional seed, straw and granular fertilzer and couple that with the fact that an inexperienced operator can easily waste 20%-30% and the large volume of water needed, I went the more traditional method.

ViginiaAgent, you're concern about fertilizer being washed into the pond is justified. Starter fertilizer usually contains high percentages of phosphorus which will almost instantly turn a pond green if it reaches the water. It is a good idea to get a soil test performed to see exactly what your soil needs to the grass growing quickly. Some grasses will sprout in a couple of days some take a month or more. You'll want at least a small percentage of seed that germinates quickly to help anchor the soil and other seed. You may also consider using a lower rate of fertilizer initially then adding a second dose after the grass starts growing to reduce waste and still provide feed for the slower germinating seeds.

I used some cheap stuff from the grainery when I first seeded the banks around my pond an saw streaks of green in the water within a couple of hours of the first rain. When I completed the surrounding landscape I used Scott's brand starter and I didn't seem to have any problems.




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Ryan brings up a good point. A good cereal grain cover crop which is fast growing is important. Oats, wheat or winter rye would all work well, especially with a fall planting. You can buy phosphorus free fertilizers. A soil test would definitely be a good idea as Ryan said...


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