Wildlife Management / Food Plots This forum is about all wildlife management including deer, food plots, land management, predators etc.

Ferns

Old 06-03-2012, 06:59 PM
  #1  
Fork Horn
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Default Ferns

This spring I planted a food plot on the side of a hill. I scrapped the hill side with a heavy harrow, but didn't over do it due to errossion worries. Doing tight turns on a hill side with an ATV pulling a harrow was scary, but that's another story.

After the intial 3 weeks the plot was growing good. The only problem is that ferns have sprouted up and was creating a canopy. This was starting to create a 2 foot high canopy that was choking out the light. I took a bush cutter to cut all the ferns, leaving a 4 to 6 inch stem. Didn't want to go too low and cut the good stuff.

Will the ferns keep growing back during this summer? With a 3 hour drive one way and these gas prices, I need to know if I have to budget in extra summer visits. Also, will they grow back next year?
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:58 PM
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Never been around ferns like that, but I would bet they will be back. You don't say how big the plot is or how much of a hill it is on. If big enough I would spray to kill the ferns, soil test and then cut it up and plant it. If it is too steep you might consider trying to use a bottom plow and establishing some terraces for water control. Not till planting might be an option.
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Old 06-20-2012, 05:56 AM
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The plot is about 40 feet accross and 100 feet long (down the hill). The Ph is a nice 6.8 to 7.0. The plot is growing really good the last time I looked, except for the ferns which will choke out the light. There is a pesticide ban in Ontario, so spraying was not an option.

I will be returning this weekend (late June), to do a second fern cut. I will post an update to let everyone know if the ferns keep growning back. It is just a matter of keep cutting the ferns untill they stop returning, and so the plot can continue to flourish.

Last edited by BIG TUNA; 06-20-2012 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 06-24-2012, 03:26 PM
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In case anyone is curious, the ferns grew back. I did a second cut, but suspect it will keep growning back. The whole area was covered with fern leaves, about 30 inches high, completly blocking out the light to the food plot below. Roughly 60% of the food plot is still alive. I was going to attach a picture but couldn't figure out how. My other plots are doing really good. This plot is going to need a lot of extra attention.
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Old 06-25-2012, 08:26 PM
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You need a herbacide, not a pesticide.
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Old 06-26-2012, 05:07 AM
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Herbicides and insecticides are types of pesticide. I am a licenced exterminator (with structural and land licenses) and still can't spray my own lawn here in Ontario. We can only treat inside or directly on buildings, with few exceptions such as wasp/bee nests. Even though I am licensed, I would need to file an application stating where I am going to use it and say that it is for something like Poison Ivy. That is just to purchase Round-Up or something similar. If I get my hands on some Herbicide for next year, maybe I will spray before starting new plot sites, but not if I have to apply for the chemical and have the government check out my land.

Don't even get me started on the kids playing on the lawn with all the thistles and other prickly weeds. All those bored housewives who pushed for this law are now starting to regret it. On the other hand, as an exterminator who specializes inside buildings, business is getting better each year.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:35 PM
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LIME!!!!! Put down lime twice a year. It will raise the pH of your soil. Ferns like acidic soil. So, after a while, your plants will do better and the ferns will do worse.
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Old 07-10-2012, 04:44 PM
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He said pH was 6.8 to 7.0, dont lime.

Pesticide ban? Including herbicides? Sucks to be farmer in canada I guess. That's nuts. I'm already considereing moving to mexico because the usda keeps pulling our best products off the market, LOL. If they try to pull that crap, I'm gone.
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Old 07-10-2012, 05:42 PM
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He said pH was 6.8 to 7.0, dont lime.
Oops. Didn't see that.

Really? That's amazing you have that high a pH. I'm surprised you have so many ferns, too.

Our pH is low and we have lots of ferns, blueberry bushes, hemlocks, etc...

The last plot we did in the woods, we hit the ferns with Round-Up. Once the ferns were brown, we raked them all out. Then we limed and fertilized. Waiting for some rain in the forecast before seeding.
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Old 10-15-2012, 12:27 PM
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In case anyone is curious, it took 3 cuts with a bushcutter before the Ferns didn't regrow. After the first 2 cuts, you could return a week or 2 later and see that they grew back like nothing was ever cut. After the 3rd cut, it was like the problem never existed.

I may need to repost a update in May 2013 for future education.
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