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Grass for a dry detention pond

 
Posts: 62
Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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I have been digging out my large dry pond because of damage from this years rain. After the rains we had on the east coast water sat in the pond for 22 days and killed off all the pasture mix and it added about 8” of soil. This was the first time that I have ever seen it over flow. The maps say I’m zoned a 7, but I think I'm more of a 6.

In years past the moisture level in the bottom of the pond was about 30” deep most of the year. I'm digging out about 24” of soil. I have no idea where the moisture level under the pond will end up when I'm done, but thinking it will end up around 10 to 12”.

I would like to plant something that I’m able to cut and bale green and feed it back to my cows. Most year I would mow and bale it 3 or 4 times during the summer, but any time there was standing water for more than 4 days the grasses would start to die off.

I have talked to my extensions agent and told me he would call around and see what others would recommend.

Thinking about a mix off wet meadow mix (flowers), Russian wild rye, tall clover, and a local pasture mix.

Anyone have any suggestions for something that might work better?
 
pollinator
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Cattails? Chufa? With those, you wouldn't have to worry about standing water or more soil being added. They should be able to tolerate a few inches of either and still keep growing.
 
Bob Anders
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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From what I have read about chufa I will give it a try.
After reading up on cattails I’m not sure how well they would be for baling, but would work around the sides.
 
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I am not personally familiar with your area. Are there any native wetland sedges (Carex spp.) that are available and palatable to cattle that could be established. Reed canarygrass (Phalaris) withstands flooding and is productive and varieties have been developed which are more palatable than standard types. Wetlands containing reed canarygrass are regularly hayed in my area. Russian wild rye doesn't like flooding.
 
Bob Anders
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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I do not know of any wet lands around me.

The pond will stay dry a weeks before we get a good rain and will end up with 8 to 12” deep of water and most of the time will be gone with in 24 hours. Most years I will see 24” of water in the pond a time or 2 and it takes about 52 hours to soak in. When I'm done with trucking out the soil the over flow will be about 40”.

I looked at sedges and there rather costly.
I ordered reed canary grasses and will mix it in with the wild flowers when I plant my next section next week.
I was not sure about Russian wild rye. It has done ok in wet places in the past.
 
pollinator
Posts: 3113
Location: Massachusetts, Zone:6/7, AHS:4, Rainfall:48in even Soil:SandyLoam pH6 Flat
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Some guys in Vermont grow their own rice, so you should be able to grow rice or its cousin "wild rice".
Luckily you dont have Japanese knot-weed or cattail. They are are both very invasive but also nutritious.
Water celery might work too but I doubt it.
 
Bob Anders
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Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA
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I don't know why I did not think about a type of rice.

I know all about cattail and a couple of other invasive plants. They are in 3 of my ponds that came from up stream and line a few of my ditches.

I looked at pics of the Japanese knotweed and I don't think I have seen any of it.
 
Denis Huel
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Apparently reed canary can be invasive as well. Again not familiar with your area.
 
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