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Boggy Ground? No Problem!

 
pollinator
Posts: 618
Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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Here is what I'm doing with the natural spring and associated boggy ground on my property.

First order of business is to dig a hole that will always be full of water. I only have to dig a foot down in this area for that to be the case. But I'm going to dig it 2 ft down and 6 ft wide. This is frog habitat. I'll dig it right where the spring comes up. I have some pottery that didn't come out right, so that will be tadpole protection. I'll seed it with the locally available branched algae and duckweed.

Surrounding this, I will plant the following:
Trees
Willow
River Birch
Sycamore
Insectivorous Plants
Cobra Lilly
Red Dragon Venus Flytrap
Hardy Sundew
Ground Cover
Cranberries
Bear Berries
Fungi
Turkey Tails
Reishii
Grasses
Native Rivercane
Hokkaido Rice
Nut Sedge
Cattail
Herbaceous Support Species
Bog Violet
Sphagnum Moss
Bog Clubmoss


So rather than boggy ground being biting insect hell, it will be a hell for biting insects. It will also be productive with cranberries, rice and rivercane.
 
pollinator
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I got a piece of land that is always wet and has natural cranberries on it, and years ago my Grandmother and I used to go down to that piece of land (it is located in another town then where we lived), and used to pick the cranberries when they were in season.

Anyway I was down there one year, and I saw a snake. That was the last time I ever picked cranberries there!

Now this was in the mid 1980's so I am pretty sure the snake is now gone, but why take chances? And also keep in mind this is Maine...the only state in the nation that does not have posinois snakes. (LOL)
 
pollinator
Posts: 1790
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Funny story, Travis! Got a good chuckle out of that one.

I lived with snakes most my life. Never saw a problem with them. Had a rat snake living in the attic for years. Kept the place clear of mice and squirrels. Told the people that bought my house about the snake and they were delighted. They liked the idea of a safe biological mouse controller.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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Su Ba wrote:Funny story, Travis! Got a good chuckle out of that one.

I lived with snakes most my life. Never saw a problem with them. Had a rat snake living in the attic for years. Kept the place clear of mice and squirrels. Told the people that bought my house about the snake and they were delighted. They liked the idea of a safe biological mouse controller.



We have mice and they are a real problem in the Garage. We put out traps. But have only found two dead. I see them about every time I go out there. Some snakes might be nice. Nothing venomous or aggressive towards people though. We have lots of snakes out here, I've seen them. Copper Heads, Cottonmouths, Timber Rattlers, and Water Snakes. All of these are out of course. Our resident water snake here on the farm is a mean one. He prefers fighting over running away. Naturally I think of them as very long steak, so I tried to kill him for dinner. He wasn't having it. I realized I needed my gun, so I went in the house to get it, and when I came back he was gone. Now I keep a big rock on the porch in case he comes back. He was at least 7 ft long. Lotsa meat on him.

But anyways, a few garter snakes in the garage would keep it free of mice. I hope to find some and get them set up.
 
master steward
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Location: West Tennessee
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Ryan this sounds great! I do hope you take pictures as you go and share them with us. If I can offer a suggestion without knowing if it's something you've already considered, place a few rocks in the water that are gently sloped, and leave a sorta flatish part above the water surface, and predatory insects such as the mosquito eating dragonflies will appreciate it and land and drink from these.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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Location: Scioto county, Ohio, USA - Zone 6b
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James Freyr wrote:Ryan this sounds great! I do hope you take pictures as you go and share them with us. If I can offer a suggestion without knowing if it's something you've already considered, place a few rocks in the water that are gently sloped, and leave a sorta flatish part above the water surface, and predatory insects such as the mosquito eating dragonflies will appreciate it and land and drink from these.



I didn't know that! I will do so. I imagine the frogs would also use them as ramps to get out if the water was low.
 
James Freyr
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Ryan Hobbs wrote:

I didn't know that! I will do so. I imagine the frogs would also use them as ramps to get out if the water was low.



Yup the toadies will enjoy them too. Bees and all kinds of other pollinators and insects will also use them to get a drink. Similar flat stones can be placed around the bank in spots, and they will warm in the sun and lizards that have made a home by your pond will enjoy them, especially in the spring when they're waking up from winter sleep while temps are cool but the sun is shining.
 
Ryan Hobbs
pollinator
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James Freyr wrote:

Ryan Hobbs wrote:

I didn't know that! I will do so. I imagine the frogs would also use them as ramps to get out if the water was low.



Yup the toadies will enjoy them too. Bees and all kinds of other pollinators and insects will also use them to get a drink. Similar flat stones can be placed around the bank in spots, and they will warm in the sun and lizards that have made a home by your pond will enjoy them, especially in the spring when they're waking up from winter sleep while temps are cool but the sun is shining.



I wonder if ferns would like the area too? I just remembered there are huge fern colonies by Turkey Creek up the road. I could get some rhizomes and put them in. I'm planning to get the cattails and rivercane from nearby too. This area has a really unusual microclimate. It's more like Western NC than OH. But that is limited to the strip of land along the Ohio River from Rome in Adams County to Franklin Furnace in Scioto County. Beyond Rome it's more like the rest of the Midwest, and past Franklin Furnace it's more like West Virginia. This area is the only place you can grow bananas outdoors in Ohio. It's almost December and we haven't had to use the wall heater yet. In Central Ohio, that would be absurd. They say this area is in zone 6b, but it feels more like 7a to me. It's probably because of the Ohio River and the unique shape of the land. I've seen a lot of species here I wouldn't expect. Like mosses by the pond that I thought were restricted to the South and Cottonmouth snakes that supposed experts tell me are impossible. (I caught one while fishing once at Deer Creek Lake. I'll never forget it.)
 
Travis Johnson
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Wet ground is becoming less and less of a problem now.

With skiing and snowmobiling dwindling, Pisten Bully I see is gravitating to the agricultural market. They make snow groomers which literally can float on snow, but those same machines can also traverse really wet ground too.

Wet ground in farming is a blessing and a curse. My wettest fields have the highest yields, BUT they are often difficult to get on with traditional machines. As an example, a lot of livestock farmers wrongly assume that livestock will not find wetland grasses palatable, but that is not the case at all. Wetland grasses are VERY palatable, it is just that farmers get that idea because by the time they can get on those wet fields and crop it, the grass is well past its prime, and the livestock does not like it. So the real answer is, to get on that wet ground and crop it before the sward loses its flavor. That means getting on it when its wet.

With such things as Baleage, and Pisten Bully's pulling the implements through the wet meadows, that is now possible.
 
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