Bent Grass

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Kiwi
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:36 am
Location: Moranding VIC 3764
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Bent Grass

Post by Kiwi » Sun Jul 18, 2010 11:16 pm

Just when my "Cape Mulch" (Cape Weed) was starting to work, and Clover & other pasture grasses were appearing in the Sorrel, I find something else in my paddocks that seldom gets tall enough to get the slasher treatment. Bent grass is starting to choke some of my paddocks.
I assume I have a couple of options:
1/ devise a program to make it more productive.
2/ devise a program to encourage a more useful competitor.
3/ yield to commercial science and spray the living day lights out of it (at great expense).
4/ go down the pub and learn how to drink like a bucket.
Any advise on options 1 & 2 would be appreciated. The property is an hour north of Melbourne & elevation is approx 300 Meters.

duane
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Location: Central Coast, NSW
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Re: Bent Grass

Post by duane » Tue Aug 17, 2010 6:37 pm

With a name like that Kiwi I would have thought you would love bent grass.

Peter's suggestion for control:
1. encourage it to grow to its maximum height
2. then cut it and collect the cuttings
3. then make a windrow/contour with the cuttings ABOVE where the bent is growing
4. trickle/pulse water through the contour
5. the bent won't survive living in the residue of its own waste

Maybe do a very small trial first to convince yourself of the efficacy of this approach.

It won't cost the earth....andPeter reckons it's guaranteed to work!!

If you try this approach maybe you could report your findings here??

Kiwi
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:36 am
Location: Moranding VIC 3764
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Re: Bent Grass

Post by Kiwi » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:54 pm

Hi Duane,
Thanks for the good answer
I must have left home too early, I missed the significance of the "love bent grass" comment.
Anything technical i should know? or am I missing my funny bone tonight?

duane
Posts: 1159
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Central Coast, NSW
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Re: Bent Grass

Post by duane » Wed Aug 18, 2010 8:05 pm

It's only my warped SOH.

Julian
Posts: 34
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 12:57 pm

Re: Bent Grass

Post by Julian » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:17 am

Is Bent grass really that bad? I guess if it was all bent grass it might be. Thats when you would have to implement option 4.
And when you sober up, there will be a new species there. All part of the cycle. :D

Kiwi
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2009 10:36 am
Location: Moranding VIC 3764
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Re: Bent Grass

Post by Kiwi » Thu Aug 19, 2010 9:47 am

Thanks for the in put.
We have foals due October/November and too much bent grass in the diet can adversely affect growth (according to local equine vet).
It also affects the amount of diversity in the pasture so the stock have fewer options when grazing which can lead to deficiencies.
Too much means the pasture is only productive at certain parts of the year, the rest is poor roughage.

sceptic
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:17 pm

Re: Bent Grass

Post by sceptic » Thu Aug 19, 2010 1:42 pm

duane wrote:With a name like that Kiwi I would have thought you would love bent grass.

Peter's suggestion for control:
1. encourage it to grow to its maximum height
2. then cut it and collect the cuttings
3. then make a windrow/contour with the cuttings ABOVE where the bent is growing
4. trickle/pulse water through the contour
5. the bent won't survive living in the residue of its own waste

Maybe do a very small trial first to convince yourself of the efficacy of this approach.

It won't cost the earth....andPeter reckons it's guaranteed to work!!

If you try this approach maybe you could report your findings here??
If this is the case then why is compost so good? And why does my lawn still grow when I don't collect the clippings?
The truth is out there.

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Re: Bent Grass

Post by Shirley Henderson » Fri Aug 20, 2010 5:32 pm

Sceptic,
I have mulled over that one myself. I came to the conclusion that when mowing the grass, clippings are scattered and affected more by the elements and it dries out fairly quickly. I have seen when it is piled up in a heap, it does kill the grass underneath. Peter suggests piling in rows above the bent grass and allowing the residue to seep with water flow down hill.
Sounds worth a try.
Shirley

sceptic
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 7:17 pm

Re: Bent Grass

Post by sceptic » Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:02 pm

With mulching mowers it falls between the blades of grass and stays moist, piling it up kills the grass underneath by smothering it, you get the same effect with weedmat, sheets of tin, newspaper etc.

Now to this issue with the Bent Grass, I've never had anything to do with bent grass (or at least I'm unfamiliar with any by that common name) but the thing to do would be to learn as much about the ecology of this grass as you can, what conditions does it like? what conditions doesn't it like? and pretty much do the opposite of what it likes. If it likes low nutrient soils then fertilise the area, if it likes low pH soils then spread some gypsum on it, if it likes being grazed down low then stop grazing it (fence it off and let other plants smother it out), if it's sensitive to compacted soils (like bracken fern and blady grass) drop a few bales of lucerne there and feed your animals there. Different plants have different needs and niches and will grow where these conditions are met, change the conditions you'll change what plants will grow there.
The truth is out there.

Shirley Henderson
Posts: 356
Joined: Sun May 06, 2007 4:03 pm
Location: Thirlmere

Re: Bent Grass

Post by Shirley Henderson » Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:17 am

Hi Sceptic,
I agree with what you say about learning as much as you can about the species involved. I believe what PA is teaching is that we can change these conditions without purchasing fertilisers, gypsum etc. We can change these conditions by using natural means and the natural water movement in the soil. In regards to piles of grass smothering the grass underneath, how do you know that it is not the residue killing the grass? Yes you can smother by purchasing weed mat etc. but if it is the grass smothering the grass underneath then that is the cheaper option anyway but PA tells us that if we put plants of the same species above the plants of the same species below and let the residues seep into the soil and run down hill with the moisture this will control the unwanted plant.
I work in the bush regeneration field and am tired of toxins being used to control weeds when it is the waterways that are the problem not the plants. Talking with others I often find they are aware of this but legislation prevents anything from being done about it. CMA authorities find it too hard and costly to deal with the real issue which means changing the whole waterway system. Hopefully with the governemt the way it is right now, maybe, just maybe this is a window of opportunity for PA to be heard.
Getting back to bent grass, why not try PA's suggestion 'sceptically' but with an open mind. :P
Post results later.
Shirley

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