Archive for Downsizer For an ethical approach to consumption
 


       Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management
Mardu

Ribwort plantain

We have a 3 acre field that is used for sheep grazing appx 8 months of the year and left for a cut of hay the rest of the year. It is permanent pastureland, has a rich diversity of plants within it and makes superb meadow hay. However, this year ribwort plantain seems to have taken over.

We are just wondering whether this "invasion" will be to the detriment of other plants, including grass, and to future hay cuts. The hay is used for our sheep in the winter.

Sources suggest that this plant is palatable to sheep, is a good source of many minerals/elements and that sheep will graze it down to the ground. Will slight overgrazing control it? We only use chemicals on our land when we have to but will do so when necessary.

Any advice gratefully received.
Tavascarow

A recent thread from someone with the same problem.
Tavascarow

Can't get that link to work in the usual way.
If you search for plantain you will find it.
Smile
Mardu

Thanks, Tavascarow. I had missed this thread (and the link works perfectly).
Tavascarow

Thanks, Tavascarow. I had missed this thread (and the link works perfectly).

The link fairies must have cast their spell.
Wink
AlexBy

Let me know how you get on and what you decide to do please.

Just of interest (wrt climate, geology, geography) where are you?

I am 850 ft in the peninnes. Un improved (read very thin) soil, on mud stone, clay and millstone grit that is also quite wet.
dpack

the seeds are very tasty with a high oil and protien content (biscuit al le Mears Wink )

the mushed leaf is a good poultice for fresh wounds
Mardu

Have been told (on another forum) that it may be thriving due to a lot of yellow rattle. The rattle is parasitic, mainly on grasses, and if it becomes too frequent, the susceptible plants become weak and plants which can tolerate it can become very dominant. Ribwort is one of those. Also, cutting hay late encourages rattle because (unlike most other grassland plants) it's an annual, and if you cut it well after the seed has set (usually July), more and more will grow each year. Too much rattle changes the balance of plants, but it also reduces the yield.

The above is true of our field - the amount of rattle has increased the last few years and the hay has been cut late.

I think we will not do anything this year - see if the sheep can graze it down and hope for better weather and an earlier harvest next year. Let nature take its course and hope it re-balances the varieties of plants.
AlexBy

Sounds just like us. Yellow rattle and a couple of years when we had a very late harvest as the weather was so bad.

The solution is of interest.

Once it stops raining I might try some horrible chemicals (broadleaf) to see if it can reduce the rattle and plaintain
       Downsizer Forum Index -> Land Management
Page 1 of 1
Home Home Home Home Home