• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Burra Maluca
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
  • jordan barton
  • Greg Martin
  • Carla Burke
gardeners:
  • Jay Angler
  • Leigh Tate
  • Steve Thorn

Button weed in pasture

 
Posts: 33
3
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have noticed I am starting to have an infestation of button weed in my pasture! I do rotational grazing with dexter cows, sheep, and chickens....it seems like no one likes to eat it and it just keeps growing. I tend to think that if a pasture is getting taken over by an unedible (I hesitate to call anything a weed) that it is due to a nutritional deficiency...or maybe overgrazing. I have tried mowing after the animals, but that seems to make it worse...I learned that pieces of it will reroot and start spreading even faster. I am starting to think the best way might be to focus on reseeding over the fall and maybe spring.
It would be a pain the the rear but the only idea I have right now is to try to pull it out by hand and cover bare spots with old hay and some seed.
Does anyone have any thoughts on reseeding strategies or other ideas to help work this out of my pasture?
 
steward
Posts: 4341
Location: West Tennessee
1855
cattle cat purity fungi trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have some buttonweed in my pastures as well, but it's currently sparse. I did a little searching and Clemson Universitie's extension says that buttonweed thrives in wet condition, and a good way to help control it is to improve heavy soils so they drain better, which will also in turn promote grass and legume growth. Choking out the buttonweed with competition from grasses and legumes such as clovers, lespedeza, vetch, birdsfoot trefoil will help keep it at bay and help prevent spreading and reduce the amount of it. I don't believe there is such a thing as eradicating it, but instead have it in low pasture percentage so it doesn't become a problem. Overgrazing and mowing too short will encourage the spread of buttonweed as it retards the growth of other grasses and forbs that compete for sunlight. I have my cows on rotation and move them to fresh grass every 3 or 4 days and there is a lot of forage still remaining that's uneaten, partially grazed or trampled. I will go back over grazed paddocks with a bush hog, but I have it set real high, like ten or twelve inches, just to clip the ungrazed "weeds" such as iron weed or multiflora rose for example. When i'm done, it looks like it could totally be grazed again because of the amount of grass left behind, but this is what I want as lots of grass and long grass blades means shading undesirable things, capturing more sunlight and faster regrowth. Hope this helps!


 
Jt Glickman
Posts: 33
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
That is good info, I will definitely stop mowing, cause my highest setting is about 5 inches....my thoughts for improving soil is mainly just to put down old hay to be trampled in for more organic matter and the animal manure. Any other ideas that might help? I just want to address the underlying issue....
 
James Freyr
steward
Posts: 4341
Location: West Tennessee
1855
cattle cat purity fungi trees books chicken food preservation cooking building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Jt Glickman wrote:...my thoughts for improving soil is mainly just to put down old hay to be trampled in for more organic matter and the animal manure. Any other ideas that might help?



A grass's root mass in the soil is reflective of its above ground growth. Keeping grasses cut short means short roots, letting them grow tall equates to more and deeper roots. When tall grasses are either grazed or mowed or mature forming seed and die off, some to a lot of the roots below grown die off too, and these dead roots provide food for soil microbial life and deposit carbon. The best way to increase soil organic matter in a soil is through growing roots and root die off by growing as many different varieties of grasses, legumes and forbs possible. Each species of grass, legume, or forb grows roots to different soil horizon depths, and also make individually unique root secretions to stimulate soil microbial life. It's really the soil microbial life (and some insect life) that builds topsoil, but they need food (root exudates and carbon) they need the soil to be covered at all times with growing things and decaying plant matter.

Permies is blessed to have a soil biologist as part of our community, Dr. Bryant Redhawk, and he has written many excellent threads on all things soil found here: https://permies.com/wiki/redhawk-soil
 
Jt Glickman
Posts: 33
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you, there is some good stuff about soil in there. It is truly an amazing ecosystem!
gift
 
Collection of 14 Permaculture/Homesteading Cheat-Sheets, Worksheets, and Guides
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic