Lespedeza

Jme32

Button Buck
Anyone ever plant lespedeza for bedding cover? I know doves and quail love the seed. Wasn’t sure how well it would work for bedding area cover.
 

Eric Revo

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
It's great until it isn't. It's VERY invasive and those tiny seeds pass through the guts of birds and make the plant impossible to control in anything less than areas that get a lot of attention to those problems.
Look at Egyptian wheat or the various plumed grasses that are much easier to control.
 

Deep River

Ten Pointer
Contributor
It really is hearty stuff, and can grow to be both tall and dense with the right nutrients. We had gobs of it on our farm when we bought it in 2019. It really didn't take us much effort to get it under control, though. While there are better options, it is pretty good forage for deer.
 

nccatfisher

Old Mossy Horns
Contributor
Main thing about that stuff is it’s really invasive. Be careful what you wish for.
Depends on the type, Sericea is very invasive. But other types have been in blends for forage for wildlife for years. As to bedding cover I don't know what type he would plant that would provide bedding cover for deer that wouldn't cause other issues. Most biologists say that Sericea's detrimental effects far outweigh it's good points as far as quail mgmt.
 

buckshooter

Old Mossy Horns
Depends on the type, Sericea is very invasive. But other types have been in blends for forage for wildlife for years. As to bedding cover I don't know what type he would plant that would provide bedding cover for deer that wouldn't cause other issues. Most biologists say that Sericea's detrimental effects far outweigh it's good points as far as quail mgmt.

Thanks for that clarification. I was unaware of the different varieties.

I learned something today 😎
 

Jme32

Button Buck

Serala Sericea shows heights of 3-5 ft? Was initially looking at sowing switchgrass. But thought of other wildlife benefits, so I turned to lespedeza.

 

para4514

Eight Pointer
Contributor
Sericea is very invasive and I see it generally layover late in the winter. Seed stays viable for years, so once you have it you have it. Depending on the fertility of the site mixing some showy or lark partridge pea in with switchgrass will get you good cover and some food value. Even better if blackberry volunteers in the area.
 

wannabemountainman

Button Buck
Thinking solely about deer bedding, I would tend to lean towards grass species like Indian grass or switchgrass. Other ideas would be sumac or wild plums.

If you just want a lespedeza, check out hairy bush-clover or slender lespedeza. These are both native and the hairy bush clover can reach more of that shrubby look the bicolor gets.

For creating easy deer bedding with tons of other wildlife benefits, check out this publication by Dr. Craig Harper.
 

darkthirty

Old Mossy Horns
I have about 4 acres of AU Grazer Serecea Lespedeza that I planted for hay and goats to graze. It’s a natural dewormer against barber pole worms both in the animal and in the ground. I love the stuff from a livestock perspective. There’s no limit to how many square bales I could sell if I wasn’t keeping most for my own animals.
With that said, I’d think about anything other than lespedeza would make better bedding. It’s thick as all get out in the summer but once frost hits it, leaves fall off and it’s basically nothing but a stem. It’s very easy to kill. Glyphosate will nuke it.
 

Scrub

Twelve Pointer
Contributor
Switchgrass is hard to establish I’d let the area lay fallow and grow up naturally be much better cover and browse.
 

30/06

Twelve Pointer
I’d do switch grass or warm season grass mix as long as it’s in a place you can burn it every few years. Heard switch grass takes a few years to grow tall enough: Don’t hear of many people using warm season grasses much here like you do in the mid west. If it grows anything like it does in KY it’ll be a jungle fast.
 

Deep River

Ten Pointer
Contributor
broomsedge seems to compete really well. It completely takes over some fallow fields around our farm. Seems like it should be really good cover for birds.
 

para4514

Eight Pointer
Contributor
broomsedge seems to compete really well. It completely takes over some fallow fields around our farm. Seems like it should be really good cover for birds.
Pretty good cover, but doing some disking in the broomsedge areas in the fall will help increase broadleaf plants improve food value and hopefully some taller cover.
 
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