Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Grass issue  (Read 13873 times)

FTOakTree

  • Joined Mar 2021
Grass issue
« on: March 23, 2021, 11:40:23 am »
Hi

I have taken over an organic site with a real issue of a thick grass, It can stop a mower in its tracks!

Is it a tall Fescue?

I take it my only course of action is to dig each one out? It is a 7 acre plot and it is everywhere  :'(

Thanks

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2021, 02:20:22 pm »
If it is 7 acres and everywhere (too many to dig out) I would get someone to plough the whole field, then re-seed. I don't know if it would also be best to kill everything off first, but if you want to stay organic that may be tricky.


You can always go round after ploughing and collect as many as you can and put into a nice tight stack, (pallets type compost heap), cover and you will have good growing medium (in a while though).

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2021, 04:17:31 pm »
If it's 7 acres, you would top it (using a topper not a mower), probably several times, possibly for a couple of years.

Assuming you don't have your own topper, ask around your farming neighbours if any are willing to do it for you, or for who does the agri contracting locally.
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2021, 06:14:01 pm »
What are you going to do with the ground?  is it for grazing?  Sheep will eat down the tussocks and meantime they are perfect for insects to live in, and voles and mice to burrow under, attracting owls and kestrels. Lambs love to shelter from the wind behind them.  It might be cocksfoot (which is what our tussocks are) but you won't know until the flower heads appear.
If the area is for a campsite or similar non-grazing enterprise then using bigger machinery than a garden mower to keep the tussocks under control is the way to go.
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2021, 06:15:09 am »
If it was organic site then please dont use the plough and reseed advise ..... you may well have some amazing wild plants and flowers growing there.   Wait to see what grows during the summer and then deal with the issue later in year ....   what is your intended use for this field?
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

FTOakTree

  • Joined Mar 2021
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2021, 07:56:50 am »
Thank you for all the replies

It is mainly a grass field with some newly planted trees, unfortunately overrun with mainly this tall, thick grass. The roots are very shallow but really tough to dig out!

Does anyone know what it is?

The ideal situation would be to start again and plant a wildflower meadow. So to plough it would be the best option?

Anke

  • Joined Dec 2009
  • St Boswells, Scottish Borders
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2021, 09:50:29 am »
Thank you for all the replies

It is mainly a grass field with some newly planted trees, unfortunately overrun with mainly this tall, thick grass. The roots are very shallow but really tough to dig out!

Does anyone know what it is?

The ideal situation would be to start again and plant a wildflower meadow. So to plough it would be the best option?


The newly planted trees may well be a problem for any large scale machinery, depending where they are. IMO ploughing and starting afresh would be my choice, otherwise you may end up with a lot of ongoing issues. Also if you want to create a wildflower meadow, then you do not want to have loads of fertility, so mowing first and taking the cut stuff off will help. But all of this is going to be difficult to organise, unless you have your own machinery - we have found it difficult to get contractors to do our field when we started out (more than 10 years ago). The local agri college did our field, as we weren't too fussed when the ploughing libes weren't quite straight etc.

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • ScotHebs
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2021, 12:59:49 pm »
TT
This is my suggestion:

https://www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/trees-woods-and-wildlife/plants/grasses-and-sedges/cocksfoot-grass/



As you can see it is of value to wildlife so that is why it is present on organically run land.
Please think about what @backinwellies has said about waiting a year before destroying it.  Once your trees have grown, they will be unaffected by the tussocks, although the tussocks will probably gradually die out as tree cover increases.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2021, 01:06:22 pm by Fleecewife »
"Let's not talk about what we can do, but do what we can"

There is NO planet B - what are YOU doing to save our home?

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

 Love your soil - it's the lifeblood of your land.

SallyintNorth

  • Joined Feb 2011
  • Cornwall
  • Rarely short of an opinion but I mean well
    • Trelay Cohousing Community
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2021, 02:22:23 pm »
It could be cocksfoot...  There's a pic of a cocksfoot tussock on this page. 

Or it could be tussock sedge (carex stricta) linky

Or it could even be molinia (moor grass) linky

Or probably 4 or 5 other things! 

So yes, if you can, it's probably best to leave it a few months and see what it does, so you can identify it accurately and decide if it's friend or foe! 
Don't listen to the money men - they know the price of everything and the value of nothing

Live in a cohousing community with small farm for our own use.  Dairy cows (rearing their own calves for beef), pigs, sheep for meat and fleece, ducks and hens for eggs, veg and fruit growing

macgro7

  • Joined Feb 2016
  • Leicester
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2021, 02:38:20 pm »
If it want San organic field, I assume not ploughed fir some time, then tou probably already have a flower wildlife meadow  ;)
Just strim those grasses if you don't like too many of them, once you strim them then you can use normal sit on mower every week or two.
They are not poisonous to anyone so what's the fuss?  :eyelashes:
Growing loads of fruits and vegetables! Raising dairy goats, chickens, ducks, rabbits on 1/2 acre in the middle of the city of Leicester, using permaculture methods.

Steph Hen

  • Joined Jul 2013
  • Angus Scotland.
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2021, 06:13:40 pm »
As has been said, this is excellent habitat already.
If youíre planning wildflower meadow Iíd certainly leave most or all of this as it is and plant plants youíve raised from seed rather than ploughing and reseeding. Top it on a rotation if you can so you leave some of the tussocks growing. Perhaps you could strim a pathway through it to mow so that you can enjoy the space and monitor whatís growing.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #11 on: March 28, 2021, 07:15:18 am »
If it was organic site then please dont use the plough and reseed advise ..... you may well have some amazing wild plants and flowers growing there.   Wait to see what grows during the summer and then deal with the issue later in year ....   what is your intended use for this field?

I am going to repeat this.... Please DO NOT plough .....you cannot plant a wild flower meadow that will be anywhere near as good as one which has already established its self.  .....  management of what you have it the answer ..... once you know what you have then you can plan what to do.  (conservation graze is usually the best approach.... so read up on this)
Linda

Don't wrestle with pigs, they will love it and you will just get all muddy.

Let go of who you are and become who you are meant to be.

http://nantygroes.blogspot.co.uk/
www.nantygroes.co.uk
Nantygroes  facebook page

FTOakTree

  • Joined Mar 2021
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #12 on: March 28, 2021, 07:49:29 am »
Thanks again for all the replies.

I should have put some more details in my original post....

I've known this land for 7 or so years, I've been asked to make it into a wildflower meadow by the land owner, who has bee hives on the site.

There are many areas that are left for wildlife throughout the site, the field in question is about 3 acres.

It has no other plants growing on it bar some thistles, dock and other grasses. It has been completely over run by the grass in question. Unfortunately leaving it in the past is what has allowed it to spread across the site. The only way to stop it getting worse would be to have it regularly cut low something the landowner doesn't want. Livestock would not be an option.



chrismahon

  • Joined Dec 2011
  • Gascony, France
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #13 on: March 28, 2021, 08:55:11 am »
We had a very similar grass growing here which used to stall the mower. I used a mattock with a sharpened blade to cut the tops off and then mowed so they didn't grow back- no need to dig them out. The area was only 500m2 though. The tops composted in 3 years.

twizzel

  • Joined Apr 2012
Re: Grass issue
« Reply #14 on: March 28, 2021, 09:15:41 am »
Sometimes starting again is what you need to do. You can get some lovely permanent wildflower mixes to drill after ploughing. Make sure you spray it off before ploughing or youíll just plough dock seeds down which will germinate again. We reseeded a very docky, wet field last year and itís like a different field now (still wet, but thatís a drainage issue).


Iíll run away now before the anti plough, anti spray folk start chasing, itíll give me a head start  :roflanim:

 

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