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Cultivating Johnson grass (on purpose)

Provide a well rounded diet without commercial feed, including discussions of the methods and merits of growing fodder.
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Cultivating Johnson grass (on purpose)

Post Number:#1  Unread postby Ghost » Sun Nov 03, 2019 11:51 am


Humm, In preparing to write this, I Wikipedia-ed Johnson grass. That is when I at least understood why it is hated by so many people. That said, when I feed it to rabbits and guinea pigs in the future, I will check for wilting.

As for causing "bloat" due to "excessive nitrates", I am not sure whether this is a problem limited to ruminates or if cecumates are also susceptible. I do know that switching feeds in rabbits is more challenging that switching in guinea pigs.

Up until the first freeze (late October), the roadside growth was doing well, and it may still recover before December. My problem this year is that David paid people to weed-whack and they destroyed most Johnson grass on his property. This leaves me to only road side collection. This year was pretty dry post-July and other kinds of grass were dry, short and generally not conducive to collection. However the road-side stands were healthy.

It did lead me to think is there a way to get it to grow in a place where you want it rather than just in places you don't. From my rudimentary observations, I noticed three things. Johnson grass seams to hate shade and semi-shaded locations. It seams to hate mowing and weed-whacking. It also seems that "maintenance" by prairie dogs prevents tall Johnson grass. I'm not sure that I can convince David to leave a place for Johnson grass next year, but if he did, his GPs would find it a bonus.

Anyone here experiment in cultivating Johnson grass on purpose?
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Re: Cultivating Johnson grass (on purpose)

Post Number:#2  Unread postby michaels4gardens » Sun Nov 03, 2019 2:29 pm


once upon a time ,...I raised jerusalem artichokes in a field that also had johnson grass, back when i had a hog farm, and raised rabbits. When it was harvest time, i cut ,dried, and bailed the tops. The single row potato harvester ,dug some of the roots for storage for feeding rabbits, young hogs, and chickens. After i had what i wanted harvested and stored, i turned the sows loose in that field. The sows dug most of the roots, and tilled the field. The johnson grass doubled the harvest of both tops, and roots. Hogs and rabbits did very well on the johnson grass rhisomes . ( fed as a minor part of their diet) rabbits like jerusalem artichoke and johnson grass hay.
meat-mutt rabbits, a few laying hens.

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Re: Cultivating Johnson grass (on purpose)

Post Number:#3  Unread postby cybercat » Wed Dec 04, 2019 7:35 am


JG is the bane of our feed here. All it takes is cuttings on property to get it. You can't get rid of it due to its roots. Moving doesn't work trust me on that. It picks up chemicals easy to so feed roadside is not good idea as all the oils, fuels, sprays ect are washed into it. This grass loves hot weather. Around in in TN first cutting is clean of it. Second cutting you have to find someone not infected by it.

My brother in law brought in second cut grass hay he did from a field and put it on our clean garden. He is not all that bright and I am being kind. Took over whole garden one year. We put pigs in it to eat the roots. That worked then the idiot did it again and reinforced the garden. At which time he gave up working it so we now have no garden for we have no pigs either. My husband is pissed and so am I. I am looking to buy a torch to get rid of it.

But you say your buns eat it? I could do that and keep seed off till frost next year. See how much that controls it.

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