Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Bracken  (Read 5888 times)

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Bracken
« on: June 26, 2013, 09:41:15 am »
We are soon to come to the stage of being able to get our first sheep, once the fencing has been completed, our land approx. 4 acres has been ignored for the last 6+ years and after much cutting and clearing of brambles and topping with a flail mower, we now have something looking a bit like two fields, rather than wild welsh mountain, we are complete sheep novices, so my question for the more experienced sheep keepers is that we do still have some small areas of bracken, do we need to try and eradicate this completely or just keep it in check. There is now good grass growth after the mowing, so will the sheep ignore the bracken for something more palatable.
Many Thanks J

henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Bracken
« Reply #1 on: June 26, 2013, 09:52:01 am »
Keeping it in check is fine, eliminating it is better. The sheep will ignore it.


Best way is to spray it with Asulox which is now only available on an emergency basis for this season only; so probably not practical for you. It did work very well when I sprayed large areas with a knapsack sprayer 2 years ago.


The next best is to crush the roots by driving over them or using a bracken crusher roller on them. Constant flail mowing weakens it as well. Someone on here gets the children to pallet surf down their hill to crush it!


Topping and crushing it should keep it in check. Do nothing and it will take over!

Foobar

  • Joined Mar 2012
  • South Wales
Re: Bracken
« Reply #2 on: June 26, 2013, 09:54:14 am »
My sheep ignore the bracken and eat the grass.  If there was little grass and lots of bracken I would probably avoid using that field, as lambs especially will try to eat the bracken.
Rolling the bracken is the way to go - rather than cutting it, if you break/bruise the stems it will kill it off quicker.  Something about the sap continuing to rise and leaking out of the break :) .

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Bracken
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2013, 10:06:52 am »
If you can also get some cattle to graze on the field, they'll tread it into the ground and decimate it. Useful where you can't use rollers. (That's how they do it for landscape maintenance purposes in hilly areas.)

VSS

  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Pen Llyn
    • Viable Self Sufficiency.co.uk
Re: Bracken
« Reply #4 on: June 26, 2013, 10:14:03 am »
Good results can also be achieved using a weed wiper with glyphosate (round up)..

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shygirl

  • Joined May 2013
Re: Bracken
« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2013, 10:19:17 am »
just watch for any stray brambles, they can get caught up in fleeces really tightly and you often dont see it until you catch them.

kanisha

  • Joined Dec 2007
    • Spered Breizh Ouessants
    • Facebook
Re: Bracken
« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2013, 03:49:55 pm »
what is a weed wiper??
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henchard

  • Joined Dec 2010
  • Carmarthenshire
    • Two Retirees Start a New Life in Wales
    • Facebook

moony

  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Dent
Re: Bracken
« Reply #8 on: June 26, 2013, 11:18:33 pm »
Weed wipe or trample are definitely the way to go. If its only a small area and you have time on your hands you can use a paint brush to weed wipe with glyphosate or similar saving the need for any machinery. You literally just paint it on the leaves. Sheep are unlikely to eat bracken. They graze on bracken filled moors happily without touching it and some of the older (and tighter) farmers around my late grans in Cumbria still use bracken as bedding.
« Last Edit: June 26, 2013, 11:20:36 pm by moony »

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Bracken
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2013, 05:19:52 am »
some of the older (and tighter) farmers around my late grans in Cumbria still use bracken as bedding.

I would be interested to know how they go about that. Do they cut it by hand, and at what time of the year? Dry it outside or bring it under cover for drying? I think with possible shortages of straw we shouldn't forget about these "old ways" of doing things.

I believe bracken can also be composted successfully. Again, a source of soil fertility that should not immediately be neglected.

Jimbofish67

  • Joined Jun 2011
  • Brynamman South Wales
Re: Bracken
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2013, 08:06:11 am »
Thanks for the info, trampling has begun, the previous flail mowing appears to have been quite successful in at least slowing the growth down in places, but I have the bracken growing on top of old welsh mountain walls in a couple of locations so machinery is not an option here, so more trampling to follow. :)

FiB

  • Joined Sep 2011
  • Bala, North Wales
    • Facebook
Re: Bracken
« Reply #11 on: June 27, 2013, 08:52:43 am »
I am the pallet surfer!  It hasn't gone yet - but the 'wack-a- bracken' fun continues!!!  and I am often to found 'kinking' bracken in our fields!  The pigs did us no favours re spread but we are keeping at it!  We are on the edge of mauntain land so I'm guessing it will be a constant battle.  You might enjoy this article...  http://www.gardenorganic.org.uk/organicweeds/downloads/P%2030-31%20OF81%2011March3.pdf   there is also a good thread on river cottage forum... http://www.rivercottage.net/forum/ask/managing-the-land/bracken-in-paddock/
 
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 08:59:33 am by FiB »

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Bracken
« Reply #12 on: June 27, 2013, 09:07:16 am »
Thanks for the link to that article! I almost regret not having access to bracken now - seeing all the useful things is can be converted to.

SheepCrazy!

  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Dumfries and Galloway
  • www.hawthornsoaysandjacobs.co.uk
    • hawthornsoaysandjacobs
    • Facebook
Re: Bracken
« Reply #13 on: June 27, 2013, 11:16:01 am »


Ina I'm in Dumfries and Galloway with plenty of free bracken if you like!  ;D

Ina

  • Joined Feb 2012
  • South Aberdeenshire
Re: Bracken
« Reply #14 on: June 27, 2013, 11:19:50 am »


Ina I'm in Dumfries and Galloway with plenty of free bracken if you like!  ;D

Thanks for the offer - I think I could find ready supplies a bit nearer to home, actually...  ;)

That's the problem - once you have to cart it around over long distances, it doesn't make sense to use it any more.

 

bracken again!

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