A commonly cited Boy Scout motto is “You name it and we’ll make it from cattails.” Many websites detail how to survive if all you have are cattails. Clip the brown heads off with the pruning shears to minimize the spread of the cattail plants.
In early spring, the young shoots can be peeled and eaten raw or boiled. They work well planted on the shorelines of ponds, in slow-moving streams or in container water gardens. The three to 10-foot tall cattail plant stem grows up from below the surface of the water, producing a sturdy upright stem and slender leaves. Though it is difficult to extract, the rhizome holds more edible starch than any other green plant. Their advice was actually fairly close to the department of natural resources recommendation. Dig holes for the containers so that the rims of the containers will be approximately ½ inch below the surface of the soil. When the flower matures in mid-summer, collect the pollen and use it like flour.
Space holes for the containers 1 to 2 inches apart. Fill a container approximately half full with potting soil. There is controversy among gardeners concerning the benefits of including cattails in a landscape. If you plan to stock your pond, the cattail plant can provide concealment and protection for smaller fish. Gardeners who wish to grow cattails might include them carefully by containing them in the soil and then removing the seed heads as they appear at the end of the growing season.
The list just seems endless!
They grow easily in standing water as well. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. What kind of plants do you want to include in your farm pond design? Click on links below to jump to that question. Or insulate coats or shoes with it, as a replacement for down. In Ohio, it grows in drainage ditches and along roadsides, ponds, and lakes. Containers (one 8-inch container per plant). Our ducks spend hot days in the cattails, diving for those fish that are trying to hide under them. Although these sun-loving plants grow easily and are attractive to many gardeners as a filler plant in wet areas, they may grow so easily that they become invasive. They do not require watering or fertilization. Maybe you’ll try out a few of these projects to support your efforts at self-reliant living or just for a little adventure. It can easily take over your pond and prevent other species from growing, but with some good farm pond maintenance you can keep it in check and reap the benefits for your pond habitat.
Just about all of the cattail plant is edible from the rhizome at its base to the stalk and young shoots, to the flower and pollen.
There’s a great how-to on several ways to extract the starch as well as some recipes for using the flour on a website called “Eat the Weeds: Cattails – A Survival Dinner.”. The moisture of the growing area makes watering unnecessary. Some seed spread will be unavoidable, but you can minimize it using this method. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. The cattail plant is often used at the edges of bodies of water to help stabilize the shoreline. This should be done every few years to keep the plant growth in check. Dig holes for the containers so that the rims of the containers will be approximately ½ inch below the surface of the soil. Watch the cattail plants in the last half of the summer and remove the brown cattail heads while they are still brown prior to the heads exploding with seeds.
The cattail plant’s uses are prolific. © 2020, Countryside - All Rights Reserved, Extract Natural Dye for Wool from Goldenrod Plants, Why Teach Classes on How to Knit, Spin, Weave or Felt, Countryside Machinery on the Homestead e-edition Flip Book. He writes, “Many of us have been farming for three or four decades, and we have learned much from trial and error, eventually creating success. Although these sun-loving plants grow easily and are attractive to many gardeners as a filler plant in wet areas, they may grow so easily that they become invasive.
How to Get Rid of Cat-o'-Nine-Tails in Ponds→. There is controversy among gardeners concerning the benefits of including cattails in a landscape. As several years passed, they grew denser and began to spread out into the middle of the pond. All Rights Reserved. Which will you try first? Cattail seeds thrive the best in extremely wet, swampy conditions, and the seeds can be harvested from the spent shoots. Cattails can quickly spread and cover entire planting areas to choke out other plant species you may be growing. It’s been a fairly successful technique for us. Place one cattail plant in each container so that it is growing at approximately the same depth as it was in the temporary container. This is now one of our winter chores the first time the pond freezes. Within the flower rests thousands of light, wind-spread seeds. Most varieties can be invasive, so don't plant them unless you are willing to control their spread. Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, “Eat the Weeds: Cattails – A Survival Dinner.”. Perform no other care or maintenance for the cattail plants. Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *. Gardening From Seeds : How to Plant Cattail Seeds - YouTube The cattail is also habitat for grubs that fish eat. Place one cattail plant in each container so that it is growing at approximately the same depth as it was in the temporary container. Cattails are aquatic plants typically found in calm water, especially at the edges of ponds, lakes, marshes, and shorelines.
Choose a sunny or partially shady location that is moderately moist. Wait until the pond freezes solid with at least four inches of ice. There are two main varieties of cattail plant that grow in the United States: Typha latifolia (wider leaf, likes shallower water) and Typha angustifolia (thinner leaf, prefers deeper water).
Then go out on it with a snow shovel and cut the stalks off where they meet the ice. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources considers the cattail a well-established invasive species. The genus name Typha is Greek for “marsh,” which points to its preferred wet habitat. From home and boat construction to biofuel, handmade papers, and fire starters – the more you research, the more possible uses for the cattail plant appear. The “flower” is the well-known hot dog shaped part near the top of the stalk. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Add more soil to the containers to finish planting the cattails in the containers. That’s right, even more than potatoes!
In the spring, tender new shoots appear first, which then form the green flowers. This seems to be a dying art, with few artisans remaining who are proficient in the process. The three to 10-foot tall cattail plant stem grows up from below the surface of the water, producing a sturdy upright stem and slender leaves. In Letters to a Young Farmer, Amigo Bob Cantisano advises young farmers to learn from the experience of elders in their communities. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources recommends controlling the cattail plant by trimming the stalks just under the surface of the water after the first frost or applying an herbicide to the leaves. Beef Magazine says young cattails can be given to cattle as an emergency feed and may have a near equivalent feed value to straw.
You can even insulate a simple house with cattail fluff. Dry the leaves of the cattail plant and use them to cane chairs. Best case, the pond melts and refreezes, covering the remaining stubs with ice and cutting off the air supply to the root. You probably won’t need to survive off cattails, but it is amazing how many uses there are for this plant. If you are digging a farm pond, you get the benefit of starting fresh. Create a naturalistic look in a garden using cattails with gardening help from an urban horticulturist in this free video on plant seeds.Expert: Stan DeFreitas Bio: Stan DeFreitas, also known as Mr. Green Thumb, has experience as an urban horticulturist working for the Pinellas County Extension Service and has taught horticulture at the St. Petersburg College.Filmmaker: Christopher Rokosz Q.
Top Questions About Cattail Plants. Cattails are aquatic plants typically found in calm water, especially at the edges of ponds, lakes, marshes, and shorelines.
They taste a lot like asparagus. Will Cattails Be Detrimental To A Drainage Ditch - We have cattails growing in the ditch behind our house and this ditch is there for drainage of bay water… Native Americans used it for diapers and menstrual pads because it is also rather absorbent. Cattails (Typha spp.) Ours are always full of Red-Winged Blackbirds. Whether you introduce it to your pond or inherit it on your property, the cattail plant will require maintenance and control. are native to marshes or other locations with shallow water and require similar conditions to grow well in the garden. There’s a lot to learn from us geezers; don’t be shy. Some farmers tell of cows eating the cattails right out of the pond.
According to selfnutrition.com, one ounce of narrow cattail shoots contains eight percent of our necessary daily value of Vitamin K and 11 percent of our daily value of the mineral Manganese. Plant the cattail plants in the containers in the prepared holes so that the containers are below the soil. You can find a detailed description of how to harvest and process cattail leaves for caning on TheWickerWoman.com. Even if it doesn’t freeze over, simply trimming the stalks back will help from keeping the cattail plant from taking over the pond.
It also contains Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin B6, and trace amounts of six other vitamins and minerals. The cattail plant is ubiquitous in many parts of the United States. By winter the flowers dry out, turning brown and breaking apart.
If you have the time to spend on maintaining this plant so it doesn’t take over your farm pond, it will reward you with many interesting pursuits on your homestead. We’re usually happy to help.” Taking this to heart, we consulted with our neighbors who built our pond and house before eventually moving across the street. Notify me via e-mail if anyone answers my comment. They seem to enjoy all parts of the plant in spring and early summer. When we bought our farm, one side of our pond was full of cattails. The wind carries the seeds off to colonize new areas. Fill a container approximately half full with potting soil. Collect the seeds in late summer when the brown sausage seed heads begin to dry out and dissolve. Plant the cattail plants in the containers in the prepared holes so that the containers are below the soil.