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Hay or grasses for mulch ?


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#1 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 08:58 AM

We don't use all the yard anymore so I was thinking I could take a section maybe 25' x 100' and plant something that could be cut and used for mulch around the garden plants . I have no idea what kind of seed or how you would go about planting it . Any thoughts would be of help . Thanks Al

#2 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 10:53 AM

Do you gathere your grass clippings? At one time I mowed 16 lawns besides my full time job ,and most of my customers wanted the clippings bagged. I mulched my garden with the clippings. When I bought my 318 it came with a bagger, I almost told the guy I did not want the bagger, but rethought and took it with the intention of collecting the clippins for mulch. I'm planting 5 acres of white clover to cover what was in field corn.
It will fix nitrogen in the soil and grow about 6-8 " high and need little maintainece. Though could be mowed for mulch and green material for compost. However it tends to spread and may not be what you want in your yard. I would not mind myself if it took over the lawn cause I love the smell of fresh mowed Clover.

#3 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 11:03 AM

I put all my back yard clippings onto a compost pile, collected via a grass catcher on my mower. We have a inground pool, so I have to collect the clipping from around it, or they will be on the bottom of the pool. The front yard, I just mow the clippings in and it helps keep moisture in the ground.

#4 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 11:35 AM

I do collect clippings when they get high , I was thinking trying something that could be let go for a few months then cut with a scikle bar mower . maybe like straw . Is that the same as hay ?

#5 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 11:45 AM

Al,
Straw is a by-product of growing Oats, Wheat and Rye. After the seed has been harvested, Normally farmers go back through the field and bale up the stocks or stems left over. Straw is used mainly for bedding of animals and plants. It has no nutritional value to an animal. Clover, alfalfa, and other legumes do provide a lot of nutrition and thats why they are baled into hay and fed to cattle.
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#6 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 12:44 PM

Brian is right on the money in his description of Straw and it's uses. There are any number of grasses and products that could be used.
You might wnt to do some research on what grows best in your area.
It would be easy to plant a grass that grows taller than the white clover I am going to use and less expensive.
White clover seed is $4.00 a pound locally and I need 3-6 lbs per acre.
My wife wanted nothing growing over 8" high, and that set my limit and influenced my choice.
A common Pasture Grass blend from the local farmstore would do what you want.
The one I found at our farmstore had a lot of annual Rye Grass/Long Fescue in the blend and it grows 11-14" high and was just over $1.00 per pound. That was in a 40 lb bag, if you needed just a few pounds you might pay more per pound.
The annual Rye dies out late in the summer and the other grasses take over (annual rye does not come back and would have to be seeded every year if one wanted that). But makes a good cover crop to get a stand going.
Perrenial Rye will keep coming back each spring. I have had perennial Rye in the past but mowed it every week. I don't want that much mowing this year.

As far as seeding method, for the size patch your talking you won't need much equipment.
Do you have a broadcast spreader to seed and fertilize your lawn? I do have one and will be using it.
My brother has told me I could use his over the sholder broadcaster.
Broadcast seeding will take a little more seed than a drill/drop seeder.
I also have a little hand carry Scott broadcaster that cost about $8 that could be used for a patch the size your talking. In fact before I got the tow behind broadcaster working I used that to spread ice melt on my driveway.
Heck I helped my dad seed a couple acres one time where we just spread the seed by hand like you see in pictures of the pioneers . Just grab a handful of seed and sling it and let the wind spread it.
So you can make this as simple as you want or have equipment to do.

Edited by JD DANNELS, March 08, 2011 - 01:04 PM.

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#7 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 04:41 PM

Al,
Something else I was thinking about is our county highway dept., has mulch at their location fom the trees they clean up along the roads. They give away to the county resedents. All we have to do is show that we live in the county. Just a thought, you might look into.

#8 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 08, 2011 - 07:45 PM

Maybe "Perennial Rye" is what I'm looking for , how high does it grow ?

#9 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 01:39 PM

The perennial Rye will get about 3 ft high if not mowed often. Though it can be mowed more often and make it a lawn too.
You might want to check locally and see what is reccomended for your growing area.
I have run a lawncare business as a part time business. Helped my dad in his custom mowing and grading business growing up.
and lived on an acreage for 20 yrs manageng my garden and pasture but what I know about Grasses would fill several Libraries. since I have been looking for options for my use I have been surfing the web a lot recently.

#10 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 07:33 PM

2 to 3 'would be a good height to use the sickle bar on too, would you know how long it would take to grow that tall ? Thanks ,Al

#11 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 09, 2011 - 08:03 PM

That would be hard to say. I'm only guessing you could plant late march to mid April and it would hit that length around June or July,
What kind of spring we have would make a big difference. The place I had the Rye on had a 12 ft Artesion Well that over flowed year round.
I did not mow along the waterway that drained the overflow and it would be about 3 ft deep in June.
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#12 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 12, 2011 - 07:24 AM

I stopped at the local farm & feed store and what they recommended was planting Spring Oats now, harvesting it around mid May ,then plant Sorghum Sudangrass . They were very nice and sold me 5lb of Oats , cost $2.00 !!!!

#13 Alc OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2011 - 08:09 PM

Won't my wife be proud when she see that I plowed more of the yard !!!! Here's where I'm going to plant the "spring oats" then the Sorghum-Sudan grassDSC07701.jpg

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#14 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 18, 2011 - 08:25 PM

Great plowing pics

#15 JD DANNELS OFFLINE  

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Posted March 19, 2011 - 10:12 AM

Yeah that plowed up nicely!! I still have frost under the first 4" of soil. I took a spade out and checked.




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