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#550378 07/17/22 02:15 PM
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I have drained my forage / sediment pond. It dried sufficiently, and I mucked it out with my small tractor. There were a lot of cattails in the shallow areas. Before I was able to scrape all of them out, the ground became hard and dry, so the tractor bucket won't dig at all. It's all sunbaked now and the remaining cattail roots I have dug up with a pick are kind of limp, like noodles. Are they, hopefully, dead? There are a lot of dry cattail stubs still sticking out of the parched ground.

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John Fitzgerald,
I had a problem with excessive cattails by the emergency spillway at my pond earlier this year. In years prior I would pull them out and dispose. Never again! This year I put on a rubber gloves, an old oven mitt and poured concentrated glyphosate on the oven mitt. Next it was just a matter of wiping the glyphosate on the cattail leaves. In about a month you couldn’t even tell they used to be there. I’m pretty sure TJ calls it the glove treatment or something like that. All I know is this is the only way I will ever deal with cattails again!

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What concentration of glyphostate did you use

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cb100,
It’s a 2.5 gallon jug I bought from Rural King a couple of years ago. I just used it straight from the jug and didn’t dilute it.

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Ok thanks and yes the rubber gloves are a good idea

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Make that dishwasher quality gloves and not nurse gloves.


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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Treat cattails in late Summer/early Fall when they are sending nutrients to root systems to make it through the Winter. If you treat earlier likely only burning leaves and will result in partial control. Trick to permanent control is getting herbicide to the roots - so patience.


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Didn’t know that TJ

Last edited by Dave Davidson1; 07/19/22 05:29 AM.

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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But, will leaving them in a drained pond to dry out in hot summer sun kill them? The clay around them is dry and has big cracks.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
But, will leaving them in a drained pond to dry out in hot summer sun kill them? The clay around them is dry and has big cracks.

I doubt that it will. Once they get wet again I would be willing to put money on them popping back up again.


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So, I will have to take a pick mattock and dig them out, since I don't have access to an excavator.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
So, I will have to take a pick mattock and dig them out, since I don't have access to an excavator.

How about access to an 8N tractor and a single or double bottom plow, (or equivalent, maybe even a tiller)? Get the dirt loosened up and the roots upheaved, then pick'em out or scoop'em up with a scoop or loader.


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None of that either. It's hard, baked clay.

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John,

I can rent a John Deere 17D excavator for $190/day (Kansas). It is only about 4200#, so you can haul it with a 1/2-ton pickup.

For a little more, you can rent a larger mini-excavator if you have access to a truck that can handle more weight. (If you don't have a suitable trailer, you can probably rent one at the same place.)

I keep a list of excavator projects for my farm. When the list gets long enough, I grab a rental and put in a full 8-hour day on the meter.

In my experience, HP at that low price is a bargain compared to my pitiful man-power!

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I would spend the first four hours trying to figure out how to work the excavator before I could be productive.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I would spend the first four hours trying to figure out how to work the excavator before I could be productive.

I put my (non-mechanical) wife in the seat the last time I had one at the farm. In 5 minutes she could put the bucket teeth into the gouge marks in the clay from the previous bucket pull.

Plus, do you remember playing with your Tonka toys in the sandbox when you were a kid? A mini-excavator is pretty much like the adult version of playing with Tonka toys!*

*Assuming your property is mostly flat. I think the only way to get into trouble is to operate dangerously on a slope, or to dig into a pipeline or electric cable. (That is my amateur opinion. Any of our dirt moving experts on the forum can correct me, or add more germane information.)

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We have had some decent rains recently, but not enough to fill the previously drained and mucked out sediment pond up to the cattails. So far, it seems the heat and dryness killed them. I pulled up some of the roots, and they are shriveled and dead. The cattail rhizomes come up easily in the damp clay. It's like they were dried in a furnace.

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Cattails growing in agricultural drainage ditches undergo frequent ditch bottom drying out periods during dry mid-summer periods. The cattails always seem to regrow text spring. You may see a decrease in the amount of new growth next spring but soon the patches will be thriving and expanding once again. If you really want kill the groupings you should use a good systemic herbicide such as Shore-Klear plus or Rodeo with a surfactant after flowering so it moves into the roots for killing action.


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Bill,
I think these cattails are truly dead. In the three week hot, sunny spell we had, the clay on that south facing slope in the drained pond would get so hot in late afternoons it would burn your skin. Plus, I mowed them low as soon as it dried enough to get in there.

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John - Good observations of dried cattails. Next spring come back here and report about their regrowth or lack of it. thanks.


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Originally Posted by Bill Cody
John - Good observations of dried cattails. Next spring come back here and report about their regrowth or lack of it. thanks.

Thanks, Bill. I will plan to do that.

Last edited by John Fitzgerald; 08/23/22 02:43 PM.
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So far, no cattail sprouts that I can find.

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Still no cattail sprouts.

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Interesting. My cattails dried up last year when the pond fell three feet during the drought, but they are back now. Of course, I didn't mow them or try to remove them, as they've never been a problem.


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For anyone else also interested in another way to kill cattail: Jenson Lake Mower users have been successful by cutting them in late fall. The way they explained it: the cut stems, which were hollow at that time of year, then filled with water and the plants in effect "drowned".

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