LGD Questions from a First Timer

secuono

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It sure helps, but you still get a dog covered in awns if they lay down. And the awns travel so they can still get into ears and eyes and sniffing will get them into the nose. Once the seed heads are mature you’re not safe until the next good rain (often November) which will drive the seeds in the ground and make them sprout.
Can they not be mowed as it grows, preventing seedheads from developing in the first place?
Guessing, from your previous reply, that it's too late to do that now?
 

Stephine

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Can they not be mowed as it grows, preventing seedheads from developing in the first place?
Guessing, from your previous reply, that it's too late to do that now?
No, they will start maturing anyway and keep pushing out seed heads until dried up and dormant, even if they are on 1/8”stems. Truly ridiculous this plant… I am dreaming of animals who will actually consume the green seed heads. That would be the solution. I have even considered guinea pigs! (too hot here for them…)
 

Goatsincoats99

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Can they not be mowed as it grows, preventing seedheads from developing in the first place?
Guessing, from your previous reply, that it's too late to do that now?
That was my plan for next year… to start my weed whacking / mowing marathon much earlier. But if you mow the foxtail grass, it still goes to seed just an inch long (in my experience). I would prefer not to use herbicide as we have animals… and a creek that runs through our pasture and into the neighbor’s property (would rather not poison them as well). I tried spraying vinegar and soap on the foxtails in the dog run, but it did nothing. I pulled them all out by the roots (so much pulling I had blisters for days), and now there’s only a small patch that’s returned. But we’ll see come next spring. I might try to spray the dog run with herbicide if I can move the dog off property for a while. But that’s a whole thing.
Here are some pictures:

1. Foxtails after “mowing;” pencil for scale. First round they were maybe 10 to 12 inches high. After cutting, they reseed just a few inches tall.

2. The boys hard at work in the pasture today.

3 and 4. The pasture at the peak of spring.

Last pic is for steepness reference.

(The goats do not eat the lupin, but it is preventing me from getting sheep.)
 

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Stephine

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That was my plan for next year… to start my weed whacking / mowing marathon much earlier. But if you mow the foxtail grass, it still goes to seed just an inch long (in my experience). I would prefer not to use herbicide as we have animals… and a creek that runs through our pasture and into the neighbor’s property (would rather not poison them as well). I tried spraying vinegar and soap on the foxtails in the dog run, but it did nothing. I pulled them all out by the roots (so much pulling I had blisters for days), and now there’s only a small patch that’s returned. But we’ll see come next spring. I might try to spray the dog run with herbicide if I can move the dog off property for a while. But that’s a whole thing.
Here are some pictures:

1. Foxtails after “mowing;” pencil for scale. First round they were maybe 10 to 12 inches high. After cutting, they reseed just a few inches tall.

2. The boys hard at work in the pasture today.

3 and 4. The pasture at the peak of spring.

Last pic is for steepness reference.

(The goats do not eat the lupin, but it is preventing me from getting sheep.)
I forgot you have goats! So the goats don’t eat the green seed heads either?
 

Goatsincoats99

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I forgot you have goats! So the goats don’t eat the green seed heads either?
They’ll nibble it here and there… but they definitely won’t eat acres of it, especially with so much other forage available. We’d need about a couple dozen more goats to effectively mow the pasture that way… but that’s more goats than I can handle. I talked to a guy to have his herd of mobile goats come clear the pasture—he quoted $1500 an acre… I’d get out there and eat it myself for that much. I’m sure that’s a fair price for his services, but I’d rather put that money towards more of my own goats, or fencing, or a tractor, etc. We’ve thrown around the idea of fencing a small patch for them to eat at a time and then rotating spots (chicken tractor style) and we may try that early spring next year in the high-density foxtail patches before they go to seed. Fence panels themselves are so expensive, we’re really trying to be as effective as possible with our resources.
 

Goatsincoats99

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If you have steep slopes my understanding is that a zero turn isn't for you. They do make gas powered rotary mowers you can pull with an ATV if you already have one or a garden tractor (though the latter would have a mowing deck). I can't even imagine string trimming 5 acres!!!!!

OK, here is an off the wall thought. They make baggers that attach to sub compact mower decks. I wonder if you could rent same for a day so when you mow all the foxtails would get sucked up rather than just tossed on the ground? Then you could dump them in a fire pit and burn the damn things.
I love the bag idea—I’ll have to look around the area for some rentals. We wouldn’t be able to burn it until November or December… but we would be able to burn it eventually. I haven’t had the gumption to get out there with a rake just yet.
 
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Stephine

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They’ll nibble it here and there… but they definitely won’t eat acres of it, especially with so much other forage available. We’d need about a couple dozen more goats to effectively mow the pasture that way… but that’s more goats than I can handle. I talked to a guy to have his herd of mobile goats come clear the pasture—he quoted $1500 an acre… I’d get out there and eat it myself for that much. I’m sure that’s a fair price for his services, but I’d rather put that money towards more of my own goats, or fencing, or a tractor, etc. We’ve thrown around the idea of fencing a small patch for them to eat at a time and then rotating spots (chicken tractor style) and we may try that early spring next year in the high-density foxtail patches before they go to seed. Fence panels themselves are so expensive, we’re really trying to be as effective as possible with our resources.
I am glad to hear that they at least nibble it! Yes, you don’t have a lot of goats for the amount of greenery that needs to be beaten into submission 😂, they have a lot to pick and chose from. But if they do eat some, definitely fencing in smaller areas and rotating to make them eat the stuff is worth trying. I am so tempted to get some goats, too, but just can’t deal with animals that get out of their enclosures and goats are of course notorious, especially if you are trying to make them eat stuff they don’t care much about, with better stuff in full view…. I would love to read updates of how it works out for you!
 

Bruce

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We’ve thrown around the idea of fencing a small patch for them to eat at a time and then rotating spots (chicken tractor style) and we may try that early spring next year in the high-density foxtail patches before they go to seed. Fence panels themselves are so expensive, we’re really trying to be as effective as possible with our resources.
Premier 1 electric goat fence

Not cheap but a 164' roll costs the same as just two 16' goat panels at TSC, you might need 2 rolls for the number of goats you have. The solar energizer will be another 3-4 panels equivalent. If you go this route pay the extra $20 for the double spike posts.

This is much easier to move than a goat panel fence since you only need T-posts on the corners because the stepin posts the net is connected to need to pull back to a sturdy post at those points. Premier1 has a "FiberTuff" post that can be used on corners.
 

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