View Full Version : What to grow in swampy areas?

09-08-2006, 06:56 PM
I have a swampy area that looks like it could be a great food plot for something. It is very thick now with a grass (that looks kind of like rye before it heads out). I don't know what the grass is but it is thick and nothing else grows but this grass.

Does anything grow in wet soils and it does get quite a bit of sunlight!

Thanks very much for any comments!


300 Win Mag
09-08-2006, 07:12 PM
Well, the first two things you are going to need are lots of lime and roundup. I have swampy areas and the soil is usually pretty good, however, it is usually very acidic due to the decomposing matter. Once you kill all the grass and lime the living daylights out of it, yes i mean like 7 tons of lime per acre in many cases (Definetly take a soil sample and have it tested, it may not need this much lime) then you will have to experiment with several types of seeds to see what works best for you. Remember, seeds like moisture to germinate, and mid summer is usually a great time to plant these, which is usually after you get done with your spring planting. You can try soybeans, brassicas and rice.

09-08-2006, 08:44 PM
Be very careful about wet areas such as this. It may be considered a wetland by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who regulation jurisdiction of ALL wetlands in the U.S. Their could be fines or worse for tilllage or land disturbing activities. Likely, you wouldn't be caught unless it is within sight of farmland where USDA employees are working with the farmer/landowner on conservation project. These folks likely wouldn' t WANT to report the violation, but they are obligated to. I advise caution here, and if in doubt, find another location for your plot.

09-08-2006, 08:49 PM
Try Alsike clover. It's suppose to have good wet feet properties. I just planted an acre of wild game food sorghum in a swampy area for pheasant. So far it has reached knee high.

JBGulf Shores
09-08-2006, 09:12 PM
Ed Spins book on foodplots has a section on swamp plots;)

09-08-2006, 09:48 PM
I almost always plant new food plots - areas that have not been under cultivation for some time - in brassicas the first year. Here's why I like the brassicas:

1. Fall planting - gives me time to work the soil a few times through the spring and summer. Improving the soil via tilling, adding the lime, and spraying multiple times to kill weeds.
2. Brassicas do well in acidic soils. Although I try to always add the necessary lime, I usually cannot get a truckload out to my plots so I use bagged lime - try to add lime several times throughout spring and summer. As a result of the lime taking time to reduce the pH, my soils are still on the acidic side the first year.
3. The brassicas grow quickly and do well when competing with weeds when planted in the fall.
4. Improves soil for the following year because of 1-3.

And lets not forget the excellent tonnage brassicas provide...and they are a draw during the season. Hard to beat that for a first year plot.

Bob S
09-09-2006, 03:17 AM
Ed Spins book on foodplots has a section on swamp plots

ORDER HERE (https://www.qdma.com/store/details.asp?id=216&catid=&catname=)

09-09-2006, 07:08 AM
corygnc, if it is wet enough that wetland plants are growing there (as opposed to the grasses and forbs that grow on other places on the property) then it may be too wet to mess with. Hard to say via computer. You may have reed canarygrass growing in there. It gets taller than most grasses, prefers wet sites, and forms a very dense sod. Not easy to kill.

If the spot is workable, I'd also consider alsike clover. It has done well in marginal conditions here for years. I planted a few test plots this year on a section of strip mine that is pretty rough and usually wet...to see if anything could survive it. Small burnett managed to get started, and some other stuff failed, but the alsike clover looks the best. Worth a try, but odds may be stacked against you if it is just too wet.

I can't recall what Ed Spin suggests for seed in his 'swamp plot' but you can order that book via BobS's previous post. I have only read a few paragraphs of the new QDMA food plot book, but it may also offer info on a wet site situation.

09-09-2006, 11:48 AM
Yup, as stated above. Lime, Potassium, Lime, Alsike clover, Lime, Winter Rye, and Lime.

We did a new swamp plot Labor day weekend in northern Wisconsin. PH 4.8, excessive phosphorus, very low potassium. The soil test recommended 9 tons/acre lime to bring the PH up to 6.8, which make take 3 to 4 years. The other plot on higher ground had a PH of 5.2.

We put about 60% of the recommended lime down this year, added the recommended potassium (K), some N, and planted winter rye, and alsike clover.

The swamp plot ground was bone dry now, but had 15" of standing water last April. If the alsike don't make it through next spring, but is dry by mid summer, the plot could be planted as a fall/winter only plot next year.

09-11-2006, 10:52 AM
We have a couple wet ares im about to dive into.
Lousanna s1 clover will tolerate very wet conditions. If nothing else i will plant this with jap millet. I've heard several people say deer love the tops of jap millet.

09-11-2006, 12:00 PM
I have two sites like this. If the area is really wet and prone to flooding in hunting season look at Jap millet. Deer will feed on Jap Millet, particularly when the millet is young. Jap Millet can be broadcast on a Mud flat and will tolerating flooding. If the millet seeds outs and the site floods it can make for great duck hunting. If you want plant the millet for ducks where you need the millet to seed out it should be in the ground now though. If your site floods only occasionally during hunting season try winter wheat but like stated above be prepared to had lots of lime. My sites were around 4.9 at first. By the time I got done liming it looked liked it had snowed. Deer love and if it does happen to flood the ducks will too.

I have a combination bow(deer)/duck blind on each.