Organic control of reed canary grass?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Mountaineer, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    I have about 10 acres of nearly solid RCG. It's a wet spot so it thrives. No haying equipment so it's already 6'+.
    You plow it over and it comes right back- it is incredibly deep and resiliant.
    I'm getting certified organic so don't want to use chemicals, plus all the neighbors have it so it would come right back. It's more of learning to live with it.
    Anyone dealing with this sort of thing? I'd like to hear about successes or failures. Thanks.
    I'm also curious- I plan to get someone in to hay it, but if I let it get really big will it kill buttercup and other weeds by choking? Will people want to hay a field that's 8' tall??
     
  2. Jenn

    Jenn Well-Known Member Supporter

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  3. Mountaineer

    Mountaineer Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the link! Makes it sound hard! I'll look into getting someone to till it under deep, that could be my method easy enough- it'll come back but it will be controled.
     
  4. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Gennerally when something gets that big it is going to seed - so baling it doesn't help you at all. And it becomes too course to make good hay. Think you would want it cut & baled earlier than that.

    'Round here it is ok hay, not too common, winter is hard on it, doesn't get so big.

    --->Paul
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you want to go organic, 10 acres of canary grass could be the biggest profit maker on the farm. It would pasture over 20 head of cattle from very early spring until hard frost in the fall. It makes fair hay if you cut it when it's about two feet tall. To have good pasture it also needs to be kept at a foot tall or less. It will pasture more stock than 3 times as many acres of domestic grasses. It will come up real early in the spring even if there is a foot of water over it. The roots make a matt that will support a light tractor regardless of how wet the soil is. I've mowed mine with an old M Farmall with over 6 inches of water on it in muck ground. Organic beef is the way to go. It grows great without any fertilizer or chemicles whatsoever. You could have hay and pasture for several beef cows the year around.
     
  6. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I''m glad to hear there is ONE animal that will eat canary grass willingly-cattle. my donkeys don't like it, my chickens don't like it, my rabbits tolerate it. The donkeys and chickens will eat little bits of it but not enough to keep it down and since it grows through a little tiny stream it grows VERY WELL!!!! Even burned it off this spring hoping the critters would keep it down-no. Still have to weed whack it off every couple of weeks. Good luck with yours, Farmer Joe.
     
  7. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Guest

    Mow it often and it will likely be better accepted. When it's a foot tall or less it's much more tender.

    .....Alan.
     
  8. Ann Mary

    Ann Mary Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It gets thicker stalks as the summer goes along even though we cut it every couple of weeks. I am mainly trying to keep the seed heads from forming-although the ones I can't get too well-uneven terrain- the chickens like the seeds if the grass gets laid over to where they can reach the seed heads...but I still try to not let the develop. It is just a PAIN to deal with.