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Author Topic: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?  (Read 3144 times)

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« on: February 25, 2014, 05:53:52 pm »
Hello everyone,

Well, we should be making the move to Orkney in a months time so now I can start planning what to do when i get up there.

We only have 2 acres which the previous owners have done absolutely nothing to in the 3 years they have been there, the home report described it as 'fields of rank grass', i'm not really sure what rank grass is but i'm assuming its pasture which has not been maintained? When i viewed the house it just looked like really long grass but it was snowing so hard to get a good look.

My original plan was to get a couple of weaners for fatterning and for the first year let them clear the two acres and then re-seed once the pigs are gone and the following year either get a couple of geese or a few sheep.

My question is whether i really need to clear the whole ground or if i put sheep straight on it, will their grazing bring the pasture back to life. What would you guys do?
Voss Electric Fence

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2014, 05:59:22 pm »
rank grass is generally referred to as grass that is badly over grown, tussocky and has a thick inpenertrable mat at ground level. The way I've dealt with this in the past is just to cut and harrow (any really big tussocks may need digging out), you may also need to aerate. I wouldn't have thought you'd need to get rid of the whole lot.
Sheep are excellent for when the grass is cut down (we used em when I was in the NT doing grassland management) but I seem to recall someone telling me they can't deal with long grass. Fortunately we have lots of sheep experts here who can give you a more informed opinion on that.

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2014, 08:10:37 am »
Thanks Mike, I'm glad to hear that rank grass is just overgrown grass rather than anything nasty!

I guess then its whether its easier for us to let the pigs turn it all over then reseed it or get a neighbour in to cut and harrow it ready for sheep/geese/whatever else we decide?

MikeM

  • Joined Jul 2011
  • NW Devon
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #3 on: February 26, 2014, 08:23:13 am »
the advantage of getting the pigs to turn it over is you get to eat them at then end. In my experience, neighbours complain at this sort of treatment.

marka

  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Moray, NE Scotland
  • www.facebook.com/WellsideCroft
    • Facebook
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #4 on: February 26, 2014, 01:07:44 pm »
When we moved in November, our fields were similarly overgrown as a result of non-grazing over the past few years - we just put our ponies and sheep in there and between them they've nibbled the grass right down and done a good job of finding lots of things that were hidden under the grass !!

We plan to harrow and roll this year and see how the fields go before deciding what else needs doing to them

A lot will depend on what type of grass you've got and also how well drained your land is.
Castlemilk Moorit sheep and Belted Galloway cattle, plus other hangers on.

shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2014, 06:58:25 pm »
found this today and thought of you. but maybe you've seen it.

Life on a small Island on Vimeo

Clarebelle

  • Joined Jan 2013
  • Orkney
Re: rank grass - should i get rid and re-seed?
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2014, 07:50:27 pm »
Thank you for that Shygirl, i hadn't seen it. It was a nice little movie and very like what i saw on Westray, with the little airport waiting room and post office etc.!

I am really intrigued by the possibility of keeping a small flock of North Ronaldsey sheep and feeding them on seaweed through the winter rather than buying in hay or silage.

 

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