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Mr gen

Wetland game cover

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Hey fellas

on our little shoot we have a wet, semi marsh land strip the our pheasants like to hang out in . when they are driven out of it they always fly really well and are quite challenging. Next year we are looking to do something with this strip to make it more of a drive in its own right. The strip is about 40 meters wide at one end 60meters at the other and 200 meters long its fenced off so no sheep are going to get in there. Is there any kind of cover crop that likes wet ground and will reseed it self annually? We would be looking to try and plant half of it next year and the rest of it the year after as we are on a tight budget.

Thanks in advance

gen

 

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Cheers Konnie that looks like it might be the stuff I will have to check with the farmer as a couple of seed sights I have looked at today say it doesn’t like acid in the soil but everything else looks favourable.

Oh forgot to ask do you use this or have you had success with it in the past?

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No never used it, but have shot in Norfolk on some wet meadows and seen it growing wild and holds birds and seemed to cope well with the conditions you described, and it will need minimal attention once established.

 

All the best with your project.

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Fast growing willows ?  I have a lot on my croft. easy to plant, just push a cutting in the ground, can be trimmed with a brush cutter and each stem will send up multiple new shoots which can then be cut and planted elsewhere

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I do like the sound of both of these. I have seen people planting willows, I have in mind they were doing them for basket making it all looked easy enough like you say just push cutting into soil. I will do a bit of research into what ones are quick growers. The only thing worrying me is that a willow might be too much of a permanent fixture if left to grow whereas the sedge will always be a plant.

 

Thanks guys     

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Miscanthus giganteus or one of the cultivars if you want seed heads.

This is an herbaceous perennial and should be cut down every spring for the best results.

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there was a long thread about this wetland cover with pictures that JDog and myself and loads of others contributed to several years ago.........damned if i can find it tho'.......i took some pics of an area between cultivated land and marshland one one of the places i used to shoot.......

the thread also included a lively discussion on the genus of a particular type of reed........

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Sorry for my absence guys busy spell at work. You are giving me some food for thought here, Jdog your suggestion of Miscanthus giganteus would definitely provide a great cover crop from the little bit of research I have done on line it looks huge but it maybe a little expensive.whereas the Canary grass looks perfect and at about 50 quid an acre sounds affordable. Also with canary grass having big seedy heads, would that also be of interest to all birds not just pheasants? You know to give other wild birds a bit of a haven.

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In your original post you say that the pheasants seem to like this area. I would ask myself why do they like this area. And is changing the habitat going to improve it? For example is it a sun trap, I this case planting a large cover may in fact reduce its appeal. 

 

Not it saying you are wrong by wanting to change but just that there is often more to consider than just planting cover because the birds are there. Best of luck with whatever you decide and you will only truly know by experimenting.

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On ‎11‎/‎01‎/‎2019 at 00:16, Clodhopper said:

In your original post you say that the pheasants seem to like this area. I would ask myself why do they like this area. And is changing the habitat going to improve it? For example is it a sun trap, I this case planting a large cover may in fact reduce its appeal. 

 

Not it saying you are wrong by wanting to change but just that there is often more to consider than just planting cover because the birds are there. Best of luck with whatever you decide and you will only truly know by experimenting.

 That's a good point I think the birds are drawn there as it is a nice quiet walkway between two fed drives. It also offers some cover and is south facing so does catch the sun. I think my reasoning for planting something here is to try and make more appealing, feed it  and maybe even try to incorporate it into one of the nearby drives. Also next year we are thinking of putting more birds out and the extra cover might help to hold the birds as they do tend to follow the sun up the south facing hill towards our boundary as you say we will never know without trying and thanks     

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On 11/01/2019 at 00:16, Clodhopper said:

In your original post you say that the pheasants seem to like this area. I would ask myself why do they like this area. And is changing the habitat going to improve it? For example is it a sun trap, I this case planting a large cover may in fact reduce its appeal. 

 

Not it saying you are wrong by wanting to change but just that there is often more to consider than just planting cover because the birds are there. Best of luck with whatever you decide and you will only truly know by experimenting.

 

Cloudhopper does make a vey good point.

Reed canary graas can work very well, but generally takes 2 years to establish and can become terribly thick if planted to close together so bad that birds won't enter or get pegged by dogs easily.

I'm guessing u don't/won't have any real access with a tractor machinery for working land planting etc?

Depending how thick the present ground cover is not sure how succesfull reed canary would be just broadcast over the top of rough grass/rashes?

I have experimented with a few random ideas in similar circumstances either strimming/weedkilling diggng over by hand and hiring heavy duty rotavators with mixed succes and a fair bit of failure (but soil very very peaty which is'nt helping) so possibly nnot fair to compare

Possibly try to weedkill and strim small areas before planting so it can get to soil as very fine seed. The problem is it takes 2 years before u really know if it has worked, know a few folk though tit had failed 1st year only for it to come in great in year 2. But again might be better further south and come in year 1 better

Also think which direction u want rows planted in? Do u want birds to run along the rows between the 2 covers or at some point do u want them to flush so rows at 90.

 

Would just putting extra hoppers or a straw ride esp if mixed some maize in a hand feed  achieve wot u want with minium hassle??

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Yes tractor access is going to be a bit of an issue as its a fenced off with no gate and some of the ground is very rough but I'm sure dropping a small section of fence wont be too much trouble. Now if Canary Grass takes two years to establish we might have to look into planting something that grows a bit quicker or like you say roll a couple of bales out and feed it hard. we have had some success holding birds with cracked maize the do love the stuff   

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Thaey do advise it takes 2 years to establish, up here even when planted properly on a proper tilled seed beed just looks like normal gras the 1st year, infact quite often keepers think it has failed only for it to go mental the 2nd year.

It may be different if ur further south thou and may grow the 1st year, usually avic u to put a nurse crop inn with it, often tricale or something but ur wet ground might effect that, but u also might not need 1 as u won't be ploughing in a whoe area u'll still have patches of ur present cover.

Not sure the current advice on spacings for reed canary it keeps on increasing could be up to 24-36" rows now, ask some of the specialistseed merchants the craic.

 

If  rough stuff with dodgy acces a digger might be handier, a good operator can dig the sod and just turn sod as it drops down so all bare soil facing up, just like ploughing.

I'd just dig rows 2-3ft apart or wo ever u want or even small patches/clumps (just a few meters even) scattered throughout if u shoot walked up so birds would hopefully be spread right throu

I'd also ask if it will grow when scatted over other vegetation? Possibly a good weedkilling/strimming might be enough

 

If ur going to develop it or feed it harder it might be worth putting a gate in the fence somewhere for regular access for feed etc. To boe honest probably as quick to put a gate in than take fence down and re-erect. Esp if u just put a home made slip gate in

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