Our War Against Swamp Grass and Other News

swamp grass clumpWe are advancing our battle against the swamp grass (Juncus acutus) that infests 4 out of 7 of our pastures.  We had been fertilizing, mowing and overseeding with clover after being told these actions would help which they have not.  We had heard spreading lime would help, but it was pretty expensive.  All the information about fighting it I can find is from Australia.  It is considered an endangered native plant in California, and they plant it in Portland as part of rain gardens.  But here our animals will not eat it, and it crowds out the edible grass.  So next we are going to experiment with burning it and tilling it.  Above is a thriving clump of swamp grass, and below is a small section that I burned after mowing compared to the rest which I did not burn.

burnt swamp grassTom is going to try to till a small swath and overseed it.  The Australian sites mention using a yakka cutter, but I do not think we can find one here.  Wish us luck.

In other farm “news” I pulled out an old piece of electric fencing because the netting is ruined, but I was going to remove the posts and reuse them.  I laid it down for a couple of minutes and found Shorty entangled in it.


I untangled her and five minutes later found her tangled in it again.  Silly goat!


We finally released the lambs from their pen this week.  Tom was extra nervous for some reason about raptors getting to them so they have been under cover until now.  Although all the new sights and sounds are somewhat scary to them I think they are enjoying their freedom.

Maybelle and Wynette

And I learned today that chickens love leftover spaghetti noodles.  Their all time favorite food is earthworms followed closely by soft red fruits like strawberries and  tomatoes.  So I think the noodles remind them of the worms.  They grab a noodle, run away with it, and suck it down whole.


And a cute photo of our beagle Sunny and her unusual sitting preference.

Sunny sit

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6 Responses to Our War Against Swamp Grass and Other News

  1. margaret says:

    this mix works great to kill weeds..and is non toxic to animals humans and bees

    1 gallon white vinegar
    2 cups Epsom salts
    1/2 cup dish soap.
    mix n spray on a dry day with no rain in sight :]

  2. epeavey1 says:

    We have swamp grass here in Georgia also, I’m going to try this recipe that Margaret sent looks like it might work. Thanks Margaret.

  3. mcfwriter says:

    Swamp grass here too. My sheep will nibble on it, but it’s not relished. It’s spreading in my pasture (on a hillside, so not a standing water/wet area) so I may try the spray, though I have a feeling it won’t work on this – it’s tough stuff! I have a little bit by my house too – my little back yard does have standing water in the winter, so I get it there – the pasture not so much. My other spreading nemesis is Canada thistle. I keep chopping at it but it’s spreading every year (have not allowed a bloom in two years, so it’s all underground). I’m nearly ready to use some Roundup on that (applied to each plant individually vs. a broad spray) but with the sheep, dogs, bees and chickens, I don’t want to risk it. I will try the spray on that stuff. Then there’s the forest of stinging nettle… I think I may need two gallons of the vinegar/salt/soap recipe! 🙂

    • Donna says:

      Thanks Maureen! I am thinking the swamp grass is too tough too but am willing to try it. We have thistle in one of our pasture but it does not seem to be increasing with our mowing. It may be that it cannot compete with the swamp grass though and once we get rid of that it will take over. We have lots of nettles too but mostly along fence lines do I consider them as a fence adjunct. We also have morning glory taking over and ever increase comfrey not to mention the blackberries. I think I will need two gallons too!


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