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I'm looking to screen my larger plot, about .25 acre, and thought I'd pose some questions that were rolling around my head. There's a lot of info on the Web but I'd rather get feedback from those of you with experience:

1. What are the best immediate screens? These could be annuals or perennials that grow fast enough to make a difference.

2. For annuals, what products or plants do you find last longest through the season? Ew, sorghums, I'm even thinking of planting winter rye during summer to see if it works as a decent screen. Any thoughts here?

3. As far as future planning, what are the best short term and long term screens to try? Start with ew with spruce planted, things like that. Just looking for thoughts from those that have thought this through and carried it out with any feedback from the process.

4. I'm thinking of frost seeding switch grass for next yr, does anyone have any experience and or advice for that?

Thank you!
1 - fence posts, some wire, rope or cable and some tarps! Most annuals are not going to grow fast enough to provide immediate screening.....maybe by the end of their growth cycle, but that takes least a month or two. Maybe build a wall of brush or something and then plant honeysuckle or creeper or something like that.

2 - Annuals tend to not be "made" to stand all winter. You can look into things like EW, corn, sunflowers, rye and sorghum, but many of these won't stand well with wet snowfall or have some measure of attraction to them that you may not want. A few rows of corn can be a great screen but it breaks down over time and a nasty wind storm can ruin the entire thing pretty quickly and it may draw deer to a place you don't want them to be.

3 - I would look at some sort of grass/conifer combination best suited to your area and soils for a long term solution. Switchgrass or MG for grasses and then spruce, cedar for a conifer. Pines will grow fast but tend to loose their value as they get larger. I currently have a cedar/MG screen in progress. I transplanted red cedars from other places on my property and then added MG cutting behind the cedar last year. I also transplanted some honeysuckle to grow on the wire fence as it will act almost as an ever green here.

4 - My exp with switchgrass is to drill it. I have a good stand now, but I had a very weed free area drilled to get there. Getting it established is the difficult part. It's a warm season plant so if you have other cold season grasses that you are trying to grow switchgrass's going to be a real struggle. If I recall properly the switch below was planted 2013. Now I don't get the snow and ice level you do, but switch stands well for me all winter long and will reach 5 to 6 feet tall for me.

Lots of folks have had luck with hybrid poplar and willows as well for a fast growing screen as well. You may want to consider those, but I don't have any experience with them personally. How tall of a screen you need may also limit what will work for you as well. I just know that short term and long term solutions are very different and 3 to 5 years is nothing in habitat years!
I have a private driveway to about 8 home that runs along side my 5 acre plot. Deer would only come into the plot in late evening and when a car came down the driveway of course they run. Last year I planted a 12' wide swath of Egyptian wheat and you would not believe the results.
There would be as many as 20 deer in the middle of the day once I planted this and screened the driveway. This year I doubled my width to 24'.
My Egyptian wheat grew thick as dog hair and got about 12' + tall. It runs around $50 a bag.
Ladies and gentlemen : l have about 6 c yard of 40mm Rundle rock to get rid off. I’m to remove it from my client’s yard and do new landscaping. lf you were to buy it from Burnco it will cost you $149.99 per c yard . I’m giving it away for free.

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