Sunday, June 23, 2013

Watching the grass grow

One headache this spring has been the failure of the mowers -- both the mechanical and the human varieties. Yep, the machine broke and I didn't do anything about it. A little voice in the shadows of my brain kept saying, For crying out loud, you got goats, sheep and horses, why do you have to MOW anything? So I didn't much.

The result is fantastic in a crazy sort of way. Do I ever have grass. Lots and lots of grass. Because I do want the horses (and goats and sheep) to help keep it under control, I think I need to know what's what. Yet it is surprisingly hard to figure out. I google stuff. I ask around, but in the end, I really need someone who knows to just tell me, This one is timothy. This one is fescue...rye...orchard...crab...astroturf...etc.

This morning I picked as many samples of different looking grasses as I could within arms length of Josie's paddock. She would like to eat them all and if I knew what they all were I would feel better. I took pictures of each. Lots of pictures. Maybe my googling success will improve with these comparison pictures to use.

Nom Nom
In the meantime, if any of my real farmer friends out there recognize one of these, could you post its name in the comments? I'd be super grateful. Really.


  1. 1) foxtail
    7) sedge?
    11) rye grass?

    Seed heads are a good way to distinguish, but unfortunately they look a little different during different stages of blooming. Also, make sure to note the height of the actual blades of grass when trying to ID, it may help when looking online.

    1. You're right of course. I wasn't even thinking about the leaves. I'm just so overwhelmed by all the seed heads and all the different types. I had no idea there was so much in there.

  2. 1. timothy
    8. orchard grass
    11. rye

    There is also some brome in there, but it is hard to tell which in the photo. This is what the farmers around her call meadow hay. It is mostly mixed native grass with a couple of additions (rye). This would be a good choice for your horses. The native grasses are lower in sugar than commercially available seed. The variety of grasses (the more the better) provides a better variety and quantity of minerals then a monoculture would. I would call this excellent grazing and since it was mowed for so long, I don't even see that many weeds (although that is very hard to tell from a photo). I'd absolutely graze it. If you use strip grazing and/or rotational grazing you probably have enough feed there for the whole summer and rotational grazing would keep the pasture healthy.

    1. Thanks! That is all excellent information. I have a meadow. :)

  3. I'm no help with the identification but if you have a County Extension office they may be of some use. It sounds like The Dancing Donkey gave you some good info too! :)

  4. I'm not good with green grasses, but "meadow" sounds right...and good. The picture is neat. You should press and frame it :-).

  5. Okay, I vote for #1 timothy, #7 sedge, # Orchard, #11 Rye, #6 kind of looks like what the Goatmother used to call, in Oklahoma, Tickle grass, wondering if #4 might be a Bluestem?, But here is a really good site with really good pictures to click on. :) Besides, what do I know? I'm just eat them.