There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable
and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You
can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green
Guru's secret identity.
How well does your recommended native turf grass mix hold up against chickens or do double duty as feed?
I have a mixed use property that will house Rabbits, Poultry (chickens/duck/geese), and eventually sheep (very long time horizon for the sheep). It has a large area of direct sun, but is mostly wooded and will become a multi-product small orchard (3.5 acres). I'm just getting started and would like to begin improving the soil naturally.
"What chickens eat and what chickens should eat are not always the same thing. Chickens are omnivores. That means they’ll snarf down just about anything, or at least try to! I’ve seen a hen catch and slurp down a snake like spaghetti. I’ve seen a chicken snatch a toad by it’s leg and all of the other hens go in a raucous chase after it, only, at the end to discover that a toad is not good eating. Chickens also eat less exciting foods, like vegetables, fruits, flowers and grass. They eat grains and seeds. They scratch the ground and find bugs and specks of things that we can’t see.So, the question isn’t really what chickens eat, but what the right diet is for them."
Pet rabbits should be fed on rabbit food in the form of mixtures of flaked cereals and pellets are a convenient way of feeding pet rabbits. Wild rabbits spend a lot of time nibbling and chewing at hard fibrous food and their common meals is grass."
"Mostly sheep eat grass, clover, forbs, and other pasture plants. They especially love forbs. It is usually their first choice of food in a pasture. A forb is a broad-leaf plant other than grass. It is a flowering plant. Forbs are often very nutritious. As compared to cattle, sheep eat a greater variety of plants and select a more nutritious diet, but less so than goats."
Okay, we have belabored the point and we know that sheep are a long term plan, but what will the Habiturf seed be long term? Grasses.
So, there is your first problem, right there in the title. Montgomery County is deep in Southeast Texas, with totally different climate, rainfall and soils from North, Central and West Texas. Now, go down to the paragraph on sowing the seed:
"Sow the seed — the small, hand-cranked seed broadcasters are great or by hand — and rake and press with a garden roller or your feet. Seeds need good soil contact. Spring is the best sowing time once soil temperatures warm up (day time temperatures constantly above 85F). Later in the growing season also works well but will require more water.Sow the seed — the small, hand-cranked seed broadcasters are great or by hand — and rake and press with a garden roller or your feet. Seeds need good soil contact. Spring is the best sowing time once soil temperatures warm up (day time temperatures constantly above 85F). Later in the growing season also works well but will require more water."
The seeds will be sitting right up there on top of the ground; easy pickiings and scratching for chickens. Whatever does manage to come up will be dessert for the rabbits.
You will also note that this grass will grow in up to 50% of sunlight a day. The wooded areas, including around the trees you are planning, will probably be too shady for this grass. Habiturf is an attempt to create lawn grass for hot, arid areas. What you need is probably a pasture grass, or to separate the spaces for animals and lawn by a very good fence.
More Grasses or Grass-like Questions
O.K. to grow grass under a live oak? November 26, 2014 - Is it a bad idea to plant grass around a mature live oak? We have erosion issues and trying to keep mulch in the beds around the tree groves is a challenge, even with edging. Much of the native dirt... view the full question and answer
Native grasses to replace mondo grass in California March 30, 2009 - Hello -
I live in the Southern California coastal zone, and am looking for a drought resistant, turf alternative. My husband wants to use "Mondo Grass", but I know that is not native to the regi... view the full question and answer
Is installing irrigation with Habiturf a good idea in Round Rock Texas? December 05, 2011 - Mr. Smarty Plants,
I am in the process of planning a new lawn in my front yard. We have decided to plant the Habiturf seed mix (thank you, by the way). Originally, we planned on installing a spri... view the full question and answer
Need plants for a ecoregion prairie project in Cleburne, TX October 30, 2014 - I have a ecoregion prairie project in which students are to plant from pots a small area so visitors might see what the seeded area will become. We are struggling to find potted plants. HELP view the full question and answer
Identification of native wild grass in Austin February 01, 2009 - I had some landscaping done in my yard in Austin. My aim was minimal care so I requested native Texas plants. I am plant illiterate and just now looking in the City of Austin "grow green guide" to... view the full question and answer