DoubleDogFarm
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Drained Duck Pond and Rototilled. Now What?

So my Duck's pond has been drying out for about a week. I rototilled the bottom this evening. This pond will fill back up when the rains begin
What would you do with this blank slate?
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20-%20Duck%20Pond/RototilledDuckPondAugust16th2011002.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20-%20Duck%20Pond/RototilledDuckPondAugust16th2011004.jpg[/img]

I did plant some Aronia berries along main path edge.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20-%20Duck%20Pond/RototilledDuckPondAugust16th2011013.jpg[/img]

They should look like these in a few years.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20-%20Duck%20Pond/RototilledDuckPondAugust16th2011014.jpg[/img]

Eric

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How long until the rains begin?

DoubleDogFarm
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Measurable, September? October
https://www.fridayharbor.org/Utilities/rainfall.htm

Eric

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Right now, all I can think of are fast-growing mushroom spawn or dig a deeper area if so desired. But obviously, left bare, it's going to be a weed magnet.

How about using as nursery plot for fall-planted vegs and flowers like ornamental kale and cabbage, pansies, mums, etc?

thanrose
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Oooh, I know, plant some duck eggs and see how they fare?

Seriously, I'd probably use that rich muck by the bucketful in lots of other places. You know the ducks will generate it all again in no time.

Green Mantis
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Cover it with straw, to keep the weeds out, then plant a real good garden in there in the spring. Or put a raspberry patch in there. Should do really well. Did you get rid of your ducks :?:

DoubleDogFarm
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Ideas I like so far, but there are no bad ideas.

1. Dig deeper. The end where the tiller is is the inlet end. I will dig this down to act as a sediment catcher. I lose about 6" in depth per year from sediment load.

2. Use sediment. I'll be growing lettuce in my greenhouse in (88 ) one gallon pots. I didn't like the idea of buying more potting mix so I'll give the "rich muck" a try.

Anymore short term ideas? The pond will start filling in September and the ducks will be happy.
[img]https://i67.photobucket.com/albums/h300/eric_wa/Double%20Dog%20Farm%20-%20Acona%20Ducks/AnconaDucksAugust16th2011006.jpg[/img]

Eric

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soil
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since your rains are coming pretty soon for anything that loves tons of nitrogen. id just dig it out deeper and use that good stuff all over the place.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DoubleDogFarm
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@ soil,
Well, Your probably right.

Do you know a good web site on cattails. Can I just rototill cattail seed into the soil?

Eric

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soil
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do you want to get rid of cattail or get it to take hold?
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DoubleDogFarm
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do you want to get rid of cattail or get it to take hold
You may think I'm crazy, I want them to take hold. I'm thinking every August I could drain down the pond and harvest. 10 times the flour production per acre than wheat. Many parts are eaten as vegetable through out the Spring, Fall and Winter.

Eric

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Pollen is said to be good protein, etc. source too.
do you think you'll be able to control it -- supposed to be pretty aggressive -- by draining and harvesting? It's not a huge pond, and the cattails may get other ideas about where to grow....

We brought two mature cattail wands (the brown tops) from a lake and put them out for the finches as nesting material. The originally tightly brown wands soon developed fluffy cotton that got blown around and I had half a dozen cattails sprouting and growing next spring in my tiny rice paddy about 20 feet away.

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soil
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if you have a local source you can collect the seed (which can go crazy as mentioned) or collect some rhizomes plant them and keep them from going fully to seed. the dry puffs make good winter fire starter.

and no i don't think your crazy.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

DoubleDogFarm
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local source I have. I share a 1/2 acre pond with my brother. The property line was meant to split the pond down the middle. We missed by a little and I own about 80%. Some day we will do a boundary adjustment. The cattails are at the fluffy down stage, so seed collecting would be easy. I could also reach with his backhoe and harvest some rhizomes.

Controlling, Good question. My orchard is berms and swales on contour. Will I have cattails in the swales? Maybe? :shock:

Eric

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soil
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if you start with seed you can end up with them in your swales for sure

thats why i said start with rhizomes and don't let them actually fully go to seed. specailly since you plan on harvesting the stuff for food.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

thanrose
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Make sure you are getting Typha latifolia and not Typha angustifolia. T angustifolia has narrower leaves, forms denser stands, and the flower spike is separated by a bit of green stem, though it might be a bit late for you to note this now. The latter is just not as kind to waterfowl and other plants, creating a monoculture island without providing spaces for other flora and fauna to frolic.

Yeah, any Typha spp. will love any moisture retaining space, like a swale. If you are vigilant about rooting it out as you find it, you'll be okay, but ignore it for a year and you'll need the back hoe.

Cattail is probably the single most edible plant. Every part to some degree and at some season. Search Arthur Haines on youtube for harvesting the pollen+. Pollen alone is scant. Pounding out the starch from the rhizomes sounds like fun but is tedious. Methods abound. Shoots are good, very young flowers are good. Water has to be wholesome. Your duck pond if it's very green and odiferous may produce muddy tasting rhizomes. Cattail will clean the water to some degree though. It's passably good at bioremediation for polluted waters.

I like the idea of digging a deeper area for sediment to settle. With the amount of duck and dog activity, I think that will work to a good extent. Will be longer for it to dry out, so you may be hauling buckets of wet muck next year this time

I've dug cattail rhizomes with my toes. Great workout for your feet, then great workout for your back as you clean your toes of the black sediment.

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When those cattails popped up, I harvested them for the "heart" and loved them. 8)

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