We’ve annual grasses coming up everywhere! They’re in the beds, on the footpath, by the fence – they’re all around!
But not to worry…there’s no problem. Some may call them weeds and curse the extra workload that they bring but, in fact, I planted all of them.
I had a packet of Canary seed given to us a while back and, rather than give it to the chickens, I decided to maximise its bounty.
You see, if I gave the chooks the seeds, they would have wolfed them down without batting an eyelid. One or two feeds and they would have been gone.
So, I thought that if I planted them (actually, I just threw them about the place, not exactly planted), they would grow, converting soil nutrients into biomass, absorbing a little CO2 as they did so. When grown to maturity, each plant would have a magnificent seed head of its own with many more seeds in total than I originally planted.
Some grass seed heads look quite beautiful too, so there’s another advantage. Their tiny flowers will probably attract some beneficial insects too.
These seed heads could be fed to the girls and the grass stems and leaves fed to the rabbits. There will probably be more seeds for me to keep for next year too.
Another boon is that the grasses attract many small, wild birds who also eat pest insects. This usually means that they poo in the garden too. Hooray!
Athena uses them for medicine too (clever dog).
The advantage with annual grasses is that they’re exactly that – annual. If you harvest them as they grow or set seed there’s little fear of them taking over. Once you have the seeds and have fed your critters all they can take, just pull up what’s left and compost it!
So there it is. When you see an annual grass, don’t worry, rejoice. They can be a bigger help than a burden.