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Pampas grass for biomass?  RSS feed

 
Michael Copeland
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Hi all. I have access to a lot of pampas grass from friends who have it. Would it be good to grow in an empty space as a biomass or straw mulch for the garden or chicken coop? Any opinions are greatly appreciated! Thank you!
 
Dale Hodgins
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Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
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I'm going to assume that it's pampas grass. Predictive text on my phone gives some wild results.

Check to see how invasive it is in your area. See if it has spread beyond where your friends wanted it, and if they have had trouble getting rid of it. Those big seed heads could each seed a small garden.

If it really is "pompous grass" be careful. The other plants may revolt if forced to be so close to a mulch that is very proud and full of itself.
 
Michael Copeland
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Haha! Yes pampas grass. It stays in clumps where they put it about 2-3' diameter. I thought it might be a nice addition not only for looks and biomass but a little less yard to mow. Do chickens like the seed head on it?
 
William James
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Location: Northern Italy
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Grow it. Pampas grass is great. You also can get temporary stakes, as the center stalks grow up and are really rigid.

The issues are that

a) the leaves are serrated. when you cut it you want either something mechanized or good gloves and a sickle, and long sleeves.

b) They take up space. The one near my house is about 1.5 to 2 meters across when the grass is high. If you have a small area, it's not for you. If you have the space, grow a few clumps.

Best of luck,
William
 
andrew curr
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Location: Deepwater northern New South wales Australia
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Cows love it!
Good windbreak for shorn sheep!
 
Zach Muller
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Location: NE Oklahoma zone 7a
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Has anyone grown their pampas from seed? I know it is usually grown from seed in greenhouses and then sold in clumps, but i have the seed and was thinking of trying to plant it outside or I sprout it inside, not sure.
 
Joel Andrews
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Location: Philadelphia, PA
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I have four decent-sized clumps of pampas grass on my small suburban lot outside Philadelphia. I've been cutting it with a serrated Japanese rice knife and using it as mulch and a good nitrogen source in my compost pile. When I compost it I lay it out to dry for a while, then I run over it with the lawnmower to shred it up. Otherwise those thick stalks will take forever to break down. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about its use in permaculture circles.

Some things I'd like to find out:
- It grows really fast and really tall. How often can you cut/harvest it without weakening the plant?
- How deep do the roots grow?
- How is it as a dynamic nutrient accumulator?
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