The Lawn

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  • 20th November 2023 at 11:48 am #593378

    I put this up after reading JJ’s comments about the wet lawns.

    Some years back we got a local farmer to seed our field.  The fresh seed came from Pont Vert in a large sack. There was a lot left over.

    A couple of years later we levelled and seeded our lawns using the old seed.

    It grew perfectly, thick and lush and green.

    It won’t stop growing. Even in winter it grows.

    I spoke to the farmer a while back and asked him why it grows like this. He used fast growing cow fodder seed, like he always uses on his farm.

    The best way to slow it down is to cut it when the ground is frozen. Even so it will need cutting again three weeks later.

    We don’t have a bowling green like lawn, we just want a tidy one but this does take some keeping up with. We don’t feed it or water it but still it grows.

    It grows so well that we have had free range Cows and Horses munching on it.

    If you are thinking of seeding a lawn, may I suggest you use a lawn seed not grass seed from the farm suppliers.

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    20th November 2023 at 10:05 pm #593388

    The thing is, Bonjour, that farmers need to sow grass seed that produces a lot of fodder as they’ve generally got a lot of mouths to feed.

    To this end, they’ll principally use the two derivatives of ryegrass – Italian and Perrenial. Italian ryegrass, grown as a yearly crop, is known for its huge levels of production due to its large levels of uptake of nitrogen. For this reason it is principally used for silage production as opposed to hay as its bulk would be difficult to dry. Most farmers would generally take three cuts over a season after which it’s ploughed in for an entry to wheat.

    However, if it’s left, there will be a carry over into the next season but only at around thirty percent of the first year.

    By contrast Perrenial ryegrass is used in a much longer term, principally for grazing. It takes longer to establish a full sward but when it does, it can last a long time. For this reason, many farmers, when ordering their seed will order a mix of the two grasses so that the quick growing abilities of the Italian will make up for the slow development of the Perrenial while it develops a full sward.

    My guess is that it might be this mix that your farmer has sown for you and it’s the reason why grasses sold purely for lawns are a lot more expensive. The seeds are slower to develop, grow at a slower rate and need less time behind the lawnmower.

    I realise that this rather long winded explanation will do absolutely nothing to help your predicament, but it might give a reason for it.

    Happy mowing – when the rain stops.

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    21st November 2023 at 9:11 am #593391

    Thank you JJ, your explanation makes perfect sense.

    So now I have to do some sums to work out if the short term cost of killing the grass and re seeding with lawn grass will outweigh the long term ongoing costs of fuel to cut it. My guess is it will be better to start again.

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