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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I READ WHERE BICOLOR LESPEDEZA IS A GREAT PLANT FOR QUAIL AND GROUSE. SO I DID A LITTLE RESEARCH AND ENDED UP BUYING AND PLANTING SOME STARTED PLANTS. wHILE I HAD NO EXPECTATION OF ATTRACTING ANY QUAIL TO NORTHERN MI I HAD HOPED FOR A BETTER GROUSE POPULATION. THEY SEEM TO BE AROUND IN THE SUMMER BUT LEAVE WHEN THE RASPBERRIES ARE GONE.

SO I SET OUT 25 PLANTS, THE DROUGHT GOT TWO, THE DEER CONSUMED 8 TOTALLY, AND 5 PARTIALS BEFORE I PUT BARRIERS AROUND THE REST. THESE WERE OUT IN A FIELD WHERE i WOULD NOT EXPECT TO SEE GROUSE SO I DON'T HAVE A CLUE IF THEY WERE GOING TO HELP

HOWEVER, SINCE THE DEER LIKED THEM, AND THEY SEEMED TO GROW FAST AND PROVIDE MORE COVER, I BOUGHT SOME BICOLOR LESPEDEZA SEED TO PLANT IN AUGUST.

I DID A LITTLE RESEARCH ON PLANTING THE SEED AND NOW COMES MY PROBLEM. THE INFO I GOT SAID THAT THE SEEDS SHOULD BE ABRAIDED OR CHEMICALLY ETCHED AND THEN INNOCULATED. AFTER A LOT MORE WEB SURFING I FINALLY FOUND A SITE THAT SAID I USE SULPHURIC ACID TO ETCH THE SEEDS AND NOT A LOT EXPLANATION. THIS DIDN'T SOUND LIKE FUN. ANOTHER SITE SAID THAT THE SEEDS SHOULD BE SANDED WITH SAND PAPER. ONCE AGAIN NO DETAIL. THE SEEDS ARE THE SIZE OF TURNIP SEEDS. WORSR THAT WRITERS CRAMP ITHOUGHT.

I FINALLY DECIDED MYSELF TO TRY PUTTING SOME SEEDS IN A ROCK POLISHER TUMBLER WITH SOME GRAVEL. I TRIED TWO BATCHES AT ONE HOUR AND TWO HOURS THEN INNOCULATED THEM. ONLY A FEW SPROUTED FROM EACH GROUP. IT WAS LATE IN THE SEASON BUT THIS IS A TYPE OF CLOVER AND WITHIN ITS PLATING GUIDE LINES.

I AM LOOKING FOR SUGGESTIONS ON PLANTING THE REMAINING SEEDS IN THE SPRING.

AS ALWAYS YOUR INPUT IS APPRECIATED.
 

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I planted 2 varieties of Lezpedeza (bicolor and korean?...they were both perennials? Maybe it was 'shrub' I think korean is an annual) a couple years ago. I had researched a bit and found, like you had found, that they are great quail food/cover in the south but there wasn't much mention of the northern range. Anyway, after they were growing I found a biologist who said Ohio is the northern range and he would be very surprised if they survived a midmichigan weather. They didn't.

Have your varieties survived a winter?

You can buy seed that is ready to go into the ground...I'll see if I can find the link. Maybe going thru the winter in the ground will 'pop' them? I think the types of seed that need acid etching actually have to pass thru a birds gut to germ.

Here's a link with some good info:
http://www.wv.nrcs.usda.gov/Technical/FOTG/Section_IV/stdpdf/shrublespedeza.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is the first winter so I won't know until spring. I will let you know then. I did contact the landscape company before I purchased these sets and they told me that they were hardy and should survive. I also saw a color coded map on some site that included the Bicolor as acceptable. I guess I would trust the biologist over the salesman though.

Thanks for the link. I have been there and it it probably the most informative. Please post the link if you find it for ready to plant seeds.

Did you plant seeds or use sets? I am thinking of starting some sets in my basement with growing lights. If some can do it with canabis I guess I can do it with this stuff.

I sure would like to have a perrenial that grows tall enough the deer can't munch it all. But maybe its stick with buckwheat. The trouble is now the the deer are mowing down the buckwheat before it blooms or seeds.

Not that I don't want the deer there eating it. But a guy needs a little poultry dinner in between venison once in a while.
 

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BGB, I talked to the Quail Unlimited biologist about Bi-color and many other strains but he said that extreme southern MI is probably the only area it MIGHT grow in and survive the winter. Just to cold for to long around here. Let us know if it makes it through the winter. I never tried it because of his comments. Sound like great quail food cover but I don't know about the deer? Good luck.

Bear Creek
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the reply. As I said before, I will trust the biology guys. Since this stuff is planted, next spring will tell.

One note, I am in the middle of cherry country, and may have a slightly milder climate to allow these plants to propagate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well every lespedeza plant that was alive last fall has sprouted new growth from the roots and one that I thought was dead from the deer mowing it down even came back. Only two have sprouted from the stalk so far.

Maybe it was the mild winter but they are looking good!
 

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We planted two stands of Lespedeza about 5-6 years ago on my dad's farm. I'm not sure what variety it was but we bought it from Georgia and they didn't think it would grow up here. It has not only grown but thrived! Even in drought type years it grows 6-8 foot tall! Holds pheasants, rabbits and the deer seem to like traveling the edges as well.

Mike
 
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