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Discussion Starter #1
I just planted 8 acres of switch grass. I used the county Truax drill and i am concernd about the seed depth. Does anyone have experience with drilling switch grass? I know that planting too deep is bad. I was told that the drill will not allow u to plant too deep because of the limiting rings but now that I look back I am having second thoughts. I lowered the drill so that the front disks were just in contact with the soil. I was able to see some seed on top but not a whole lot -I had to search. Also I see the the packer wheel (where the seed comes out) left an impression in the soil similiar to what a cultipacker impression looks like. Is this normal? I would be sick to my stomach if I loose all that grass after hours of weed preperation. Any commets would be appreciated.:eek:
 

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Tibbs, I don't have any experiance drilling it. I planted 3 acres myself this year. I broadcast mine then ran the cultipacker over it three differant times in differant directions. I have my fingers crossed too. It sounds like you'll be fine though. I was told to keep it mowed for 2 to 3 years, then let it grow. I might try to frost seed over it late next winter, we'll see. Good luck keep us posted.
 

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Woodencanoe, The weeds should be mowed up until the first of July. Cut high enough to avoid cutting the Switch grass, "if any has sprouted" . Its best to not mow after July, because this is when it grows.
 

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You should not seed any native warm season grass deeper than 1/4' - in fact, after drilling, you should be able to see some seed at the surface.
 

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From what you describe, its sounds like the drill did its job. Relax & have patience.

It has been over 15yrs that I worked with native grasses
( switch, bigblue, indian..etc..). If we had a problem with seed depth, it was usually with a client who tilled the site prior to drilling. If we had poor germination, wasnt that big of a problem. Following year would shallow disk the field, bringing up alot of the native grass seed.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I am feeling better about the situation. Its been exactly one week and I am already seeing small blades of grass coming up. I dug a few up to ensure it was switch grass and it was. This was only occuring in the wetter areas.
 

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Tibbs said:
I just planted 8 acres of switch grass. I used the county Truax drill and i am concernd about the seed depth. Does anyone have experience with drilling switch grass? I know that planting too deep is bad. I was told that the drill will not allow u to plant too deep because of the limiting rings but now that I look back I am having second thoughts. I lowered the drill so that the front disks were just in contact with the soil. I was able to see some seed on top but not a whole lot -I had to search. Also I see the the packer wheel (where the seed comes out) left an impression in the soil similiar to what a cultipacker impression looks like. Is this normal? I would be sick to my stomach if I loose all that grass after hours of weed preperation. Any commets would be appreciated.:eek:
Young switchgrass is very difficult to detect, I was told it can give you ulcers. It looks just like Foxtail. Even the seed is just like foxtail. If you have sprayed with chemicals and are getting good results then you might see some. But everyone I know says to spend you time on something more productive until the fall then you can tell the difference. I marked some that I thought were switchgrass with flags on a wire and found out it was foxtail. Foxtail even comes up in a clump like switchgrass. In the fall the switchgrass leaves are narrower and it has a reddish tint. But when the seed head comes out it is unmistakable. The trouble is that is September..
 

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Discussion Starter #8
cpichan,
Thanks for the info.. I ma sure what I see is switch grass. I can see perfect rows at the bottom of each furrow. Also the entire field - all 8 acres is like this. I also planted a test sample in my garden the next day after planting. I experimented with seed depth. I had one row barely covered another was at 1/2 inch deep and the last row was 1 inch deep. To my surprise , the 1 inch deep grass from the garden came in perfect in a row like I planted. About 30% of my 1/2 inch deep came in and I can see one blade on the barely covered.. -Doesn't make sense but that is what happened, I attribute this to perfect growing conditions for the deeper planted seed..
 

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Switch is the easiest to establish of the NWSG's. You can get away with a lot more with it than you can with others. It sounds like you floated the drill (just as I would have done) and applied the correct weed inhibitor. The Truax drills with the guage wheels on the disk openers usually will not allow you to put switch in too deep, especially in heavy ground. Very light soil is where you stand the chance of driving it too deep, or if the ground was worked up extremely fluffy. You will have a good stand of switch this fall.
 
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