Collect More Sunshine to Grow More Grass

This beautiful shot is provided to us by the GrassWhisperer, Troy Bishopp. You really should click on it to see it full size and enjoy it.

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6 thoughts on “Collect More Sunshine to Grow More Grass

  1. Hi

    I couldn’t get my fields grazed this spring, so the grass has all gone to seed. Fescue and white clover. (Today is June 3, 2013). I would really like to know if I should bush hog all of it now. If that would let it go to leaf again, ad a little material to the soil, or because the dormant time is coming, if it wouldn’t help. I’m still hoping to get enough cattle on to graze this summer. There is a small herd that I’m moving around, but they don’t seem to find this seeded grass palatable.

    Thanks for any help,

    Sarah in Blacksburg, VA

    1. Sarah,

      Sorry to be so long replying but I have been out of the office most of the month.

      I the case you describe I think bushhogging is a good option. It will stimulate regrowth, the thatch will insulate the soil and feed the soil bugs, and allow light to get back to the legumes. Cattle do a better job but sometimes we just don’t have them where and when we need them.


  2. Thanks Ed, that’s helpful and I look forward to you next articles!


  3. Ed,

    Thanks for writing this, it is a great help. One question I had was what you mean by “grass head” in the 7th paragraph. Are you referring to a seed head or the handful of grass plant leaves that tend to poke up higher than others, or something else altogether? And what is it exactly that causes the tillering?

    Thanks so much for contributing to this great new grazing resource!


    1. Andrew,

      Yes, I was referring to the seed head.

      I will address your tiller question in our next series of articles on plant “morphology”. That is the fancy way of saying “what does the plant look like”.

      Thank you for your comments and questions.


  4. That picture of the grass is really great when you blow it up. Thanks KV. And good article Ed, even though I’m not exactly following the science and am still learning all the site specific nuances of grazing management. This early season grazing is a complex beast and finding balance with the plants, animals and wallets is always a challenge. I always wonder if I’m doing the right thing. GW

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