Water

The most daunting part of designing the Yeoman site is the wetlands. A do nothing approach leads to it being filled with canary reed grass. Originally my father wanted to build a pond on the site but that proves to be a very complex project. That has been shelved for a long time right now.

wetlands overview

Controlling the reed grass is the first priority for this site. This is a difficult task. Glyphosate type herbicides kill it but are not safe for use on water (it's bad for the invertebrates, some of the wildlife we want). This would be self defeating. Reducing one plant species to expand a few others but harm a bunch of invertebrates is a net gain of zero and likely a loss. There are variant formulations but they are much more expensive. Ranging geese is an appealing solution but it may have the same effect on the water creatures. There is also a risk of infecting wild fowl or wild fowl transferring illness to my stock. Canary reed grass doesn't tolerate multiple mowings in a year, but that is hard on a site that stays wet into July. Currently I follow as the water recedes. We'll see if this works any better. To be honest the best control so far was when we had turkeys. They would graze the grass to the shallow water level and follow the water down. This might couple well with a spray regime. Ultimately this becomes an ongoing effort when your neighbors don't do anything to control their reedgrass.

canaryreed grass filling the yeoman wetlands

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