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Author Topic: Rushes reduction without Glysophate  (Read 751 times)

Taliesin

  • Joined Aug 2016
Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« on: February 03, 2018, 01:17:19 pm »

We are preparing a field for planting orchard trees and looking to reduce the number of rushes. The gently sloping land is wet though not too bad. There's about 16" of top soil on top of clay. We conducted a thorough lab analyses soil analysis which gave a PH reading of 5.5, high organic matter, ok magnesium, poor phosphorous. The recommendation was to add ground limestone.

Drainage was improved last year through moling however we made a big mistake in asking a local farmer to top the fields a bit last in the season which resulted in a little extra compaction and unfortunately I think the rush seeds were spread in the process. So this year we have even more rushes coming up. Lesson learned.

Has anyone here had success in reducing rushes, and in particular dealing with young plants without applying poisons such as glysophate? If so please share... Thanks.

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TonyG

  • Joined Apr 2014
    • Torrans Farm
    • Facebook
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2018, 02:47:13 pm »
Having attended a course on this a couple of years ago I have tried a variety of methods to reduce rushes on my land. By far the most effective is cutting them down to ground level with a flail mower when there is a hard frost as it opens up the stems to frost damage, then having the emerging young plants hard grazed.  Done repeatedly over multiple seasons, this can exhaust the plants and deplete their root system.

By planting the orchard you will have give the rushes competition for resources whilst also reducing wetness of the land, these things will all help to reduce the suitability of the land for the rushes.

Rosemary

  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2018, 04:50:26 pm »
Lime is certainly recommended. We're dead flat here - sandy but with a high water table (a mile from the sea) and we flood in heavy rain but it drains really quickly once the water has somewhere to go. We have a rushy area. We sprayed once and said never again - even spot spraying in still conditions, a lot of clover was killed.

Lime and cutting is what we were told and it's what we do. Some years it seems to be more effective than others.

The ponies munch them, other stock not so much.

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2018, 10:22:20 am »
Constant cutting. Before frost is ideal.  Don't let them get more than a foot high.  If I can't get out with my big towed mower (ie ground too wet) I go out with the brush cutter and do it.  3 or 4 times a year if you can, depending on how bad they are.  Whatever you do don't let them go to seed, and don't disturb the soil as there will be a billion seeds in there ready to germinate.  Lime if you are able to.

Backinwellies

  • Global Moderator
  • Joined Sep 2012
  • Llandeilo Carmarthenshire
    • Nantygroes
    • Facebook
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2018, 10:31:00 am »
Not sure what your reason for not using glyphosate is .... but my OH has managed very effectively to kill rush plants without killing anything else using glyphosate with sticking agent  and applying with a squeegee mop ....  ...  constant cutting at right times does a good job but does rely on the ground being dry enough ... cant even get our quad across ours this winter!
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Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2018, 12:25:24 pm »
There are plenty of reasons not to use glyphosate imho :).
Weed wiping is fine if you can use a weed wiper machine, weed wiping by hand is eye wateringly boring and very time consuming to get a good kill rate.

I think you will get more benefit from the cut rushes in the long term, with respect to building up organic matter.  They have 70% the NPK value of farmyard manure when rotted down.  You gotta feed your soil microbes :).

bj_cardiff

  • Joined Feb 2017
  • Carmarthenshire
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2018, 01:29:52 pm »
I've had success using MCPA (Agritox) kills the rushes but not the grass

oor wullie

  • Joined Jun 2012
  • Strathnairn
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2018, 08:49:53 pm »

I think you will get more benefit from the cut rushes in the long term, with respect to building up organic matter.  They have 70% the NPK value of farmyard manure when rotted down.  You gotta feed your soil microbes :).

Be careful though if the rushes are really thick.  Rush mulch from the mower can smother the grass and kill it whilst some of the rushes survive in an environment without any competition.  If that's the case it is better to rake it up to allow the grass to survive.
Don't however set fire to a big row of cut rushes on a hot and windy day......that would be really stupid ????

Rupert the bear

  • Joined Jun 2015
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2018, 09:44:45 pm »

I think you will get more benefit from the cut rushes in the long term, with respect to building up organic matter.  They have 70% the NPK value of farmyard manure when rotted down.  You gotta feed your soil microbes :).

Be careful though if the rushes are really thick.  Rush mulch from the mower can smother the grass and kill it whilst some of the rushes survive in an environment without any competition.  If that's the case it is better to rake it up to allow the grass to survive.
Don't however set fire to a big row of cut rushes on a hot and windy day......that would be really stupid ????

Oh , not just me then...

Taliesin

  • Joined Aug 2016
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2018, 09:58:28 am »

I think you will get more benefit from the cut rushes in the long term, with respect to building up organic matter.  They have 70% the NPK value of farmyard manure when rotted down.  You gotta feed your soil microbes :).

Be careful though if the rushes are really thick.  Rush mulch from the mower can smother the grass and kill it whilst some of the rushes survive in an environment without any competition.  If that's the case it is better to rake it up to allow the grass to survive.
Don't however set fire to a big row of cut rushes on a hot and windy day......that would be really stupid ????

Oh , not just me then...


Thanks Rupert, good point about the rushes matting and preventing desired grass growth.

Taliesin

  • Joined Aug 2016
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2018, 10:02:24 am »
Constant cutting. Before frost is ideal.  Don't let them get more than a foot high.  If I can't get out with my big towed mower (ie ground too wet) I go out with the brush cutter and do it.  3 or 4 times a year if you can, depending on how bad they are.  Whatever you do don't let them go to seed, and don't disturb the soil as there will be a billion seeds in there ready to germinate.  Lime if you are able to.

Hi Foobar, ground is dry now and I'm about to start with orchard field preps mowing and liming. I am also considering a deep one off ploughing to then re-seed with a hardy grass/clover/nitrogen fixer mix. I read this has been successfully done on a farm in Cumbria. Still a concern about new rush seeds germinating as you mentioned. Any experience of this?

Taliesin

  • Joined Aug 2016
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2018, 10:06:07 am »
There are plenty of reasons not to use glyphosate imho :).
Weed wiping is fine if you can use a weed wiper machine, weed wiping by hand is eye wateringly boring and very time consuming to get a good kill rate.

I think you will get more benefit from the cut rushes in the long term, with respect to building up organic matter.  They have 70% the NPK value of farmyard manure when rotted down.  You gotta feed your soil microbes :).

Hi again, thanks for not pushing the glysophate agenda. I'm not taking that route. As a horticulture based small holding and without livestock as yet, we are looking at use of grass/rush for fertility. How do you feed your soil the microbes if not from farmyard manure?

Womble

  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2018, 10:35:34 am »
We've been trying to get on top of ours for ages by strimming, and it just seems to be a losing battle. Last year I cut them right down to the ground three times, but now they seem to be coming up again with new growth in rings around where the old plant used to be. I'd love to know where I'm going wrong!
Experience is what you get just after you needed it.

Penninehillbilly

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • West Yorks
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2018, 01:45:15 pm »
I was thinking of mowing ours a few days ago, but saw a lot of small birds up and down, plus I noticed a pheasants tail stuck out of a clump, (Not where I was thinking of mowing but made me think again)
Looks like mine have a reprieve, I'd be sickened to destroy any nest  :(

Buttermilk

  • Joined Jul 2014
Re: Rushes reduction without Glysophate
« Reply #14 on: May 20, 2018, 03:36:49 pm »
Rushes in my field are very sparce this year.  Three winters of strip grazing with horses/donkeys/mules.  The last two were following sheep.  Then a summer of topping each paddock after the sheep had been grazing has seen them off.  The topping was done to try and get on top of the thistles and it seems to be working in that department as well.

Be aware that ploughing and disturbing the soil will cause all sorts of dormant weed seeds to germinate, not all desireable in wildflower meadows.

 

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