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Clumping grass in pasture and Kudzu  RSS feed

 
Posts: 6
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I am in Tennessee and trying to get pasture grass and legumes growing.  There was a lot of Kudzu growing here, and I have been mowing it a lot to knock it down.  I will be putting sheep on this pasture later this year.  I have a clumping grass currently starting (early spring) but I am not sure what type of grass it is and if it is good for pasture.  I am attaching a couple pictures and would like some help in identifying it.  Thanks for any help you all can give me.
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Unknown clumping grass
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clumping grass
 
pollinator
Posts: 513
Location: Missouri Ozarks
49
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I imagine there are those rare individuals who can identify a grass while it is still young, but if you can wait, say, three more months or thereabouts until those grass plants start to head out (put on seed heads) and take pictures then, they will be much easier to identify.  You might put a small ring of fencing around a few plants to prevent them being grazed in the meantime.
 
Daniel Busse
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Ok, thanks.  I will try again in a couple months.  It seems to be a cool season grass since it is the only grass growing at this time besides Rye grass which isn't clumping like this.
 
Posts: 70
Location: New Zealand
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Hi Daniel,


For those of us that do not have kudzu, can you tell me what is wrong with utilizing it as your pasture legume? I know it is super vigorous etc, but I thought it was also good animal fodder?

Ironically kudzu has been introduced into my country at least 3 times I know of in the 1930's and 40's but never established.
 
Daniel Busse
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I do intend to use the Kudzu that is in the pasture for the sheep to eat because it is good as feed.  However, it is so invasive here that it spreads into any trees or woods that are near the pasture and it is almost impossible to control.  It will kill all the trees and all other pasture plants so that all you have left is Kudzu.  It grows so fast and thickly over a pasture that nothing else can get any light, and all else dies.  Here in the states they say that it is "the vine that swallowed the southeastern U.S.".  It spreads by the vine which puts down roots, and it also spreads by the seeds that birds drop everywhere.  You can keep it controlled in a pasture where you have animals eating it or where you can mow it, but once it gets into the woods or trees on the side of the property it is almost impossible to stop.
 
Posts: 370
Location: Upstate SC
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That grass is annual bluegrass (Poe annua) which grows as a winter annual in southern climates, first appearing in Oct, then blooming in March/April and dying by May.  It readily appears in disturbed areas that don t have a perennial cover.  Livestock will eat it but it only gets a few inches high and is only worthwhile graze for only a month or two in the spring.  I consider It an overall negative since It competes with tall rescue and winter rhy when you are trying to seed them in the fall.   It is the only very thin leaved clumping winter grass you will find in the south. Tall rescue, the main other winter-green grass in the south, has wider leaf blades.  Winter rhy and oats, two other winter annual grasses, also have wider leaf blades
 
Daniel Busse
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Thank you Mike.  I really appreciate that.  I moved two years ago from Florida to Tennessee and I am trying to learn the plants here.
 
Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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People used to put some goats on kudzu covered ground in the spring and put them in the freezer in the Fall. You could pick up a goat and kid cheap (or 2), have a bar-b-q this fall with the kid, breed the mom, and clear some more land in the Spring.
 
Daniel Busse
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I will be putting sheep on the pasture in a couple months and will be doing the same thing as you suggested doing with goats - I will be enjoying my own fresh lamb.
 
Liz Hoxie
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Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Have you decided on a breed yet? I think it's the Jacob Sheep that browses more than most sheep. I don't know how well sheep in general eat kudzu. The extension agent might know.
 
Posts: 178
Location: ALASKA
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Looks like bluegrass to me as well.  As to the kudzu, it is near impossible to get rid of.  It will grow 6-8 feet in one day, amazing stuff if it weren't so invasive.  Only way I've ever seen it knocked back and/or "killed" is to fence it in and run goats then follow with hogs.  The goats will get the above ground vines and the hogs will root out the roots.  The roots can become massive.
 
Daniel Busse
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I will be getting St. Croix sheep.  They are a very hardy hair sheep and from the research I have done, they should eat the kudzu.  As far as getting rid of or controlling kudzu, I have had some success.  If you keep it mowed down you can keep it under control.  Then to get rid of it, you can chop out the crown of the vine which is just below the surface of the soil.  It is the clump that all the vines grow out of.  If you get that clump or crown cut out it will not grow back.  If the vine has been growing for some time there is a tuber that grows below the crown.  You don't have to get that out.  It will die.  Also, if you get out new plants as they are trying to start, by digging them out below the surface of the soil, they will not come back.  It is easy to stop the new plants.  It is the bigger old vines that are a lot harder to get out and stop.  They can be really tough and hard to dig that crown out.  The vines that come out of that main clump have also put down roots at intervals from the main clump, and they are in the process of making their own crown.  So, if they are allowed to grow for a while, there will be crowns everywhere, and every other plant will be choked out.  If you mow it every other week you can keep it controlled, but that is it, it will always grow back.  Any way, I hope the sheep will eat it and be able to control it and get a lot of nutrition and sustenance out of it.
 
pollinator
Posts: 429
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Don't know the name of the clumpy grass but I normally see it growing in relatively bare locations that need something to keep the soil from sliding downhill every time it rains.

Kudzu ... it's not just for breakfast anymore. It was originally brought here as HUMAN FOOD by the Japanese for a world's fair in the early 1900's.

http://www.eattheweeds.com/kudzu-pueraria-montana-var-lobata-fried-2/
 
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