Home>Discussions>YARD & GARDEN>"Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.
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"Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

I've lived in my wooded property for over 40 years. Over the past 5 years or so, a tall grass of some sort (12-15" high) has been increasing along the front of the woods and has overtaken the wild flowers that used to grow there. It dies at the end of summer and then looks like straw and lays down, so weedwacking isn't possible. The ground beneath it is irregular, so mowing isn't an option. I tried to do some removal by hand, but the roots are tough and deep. New growth is starting to peek through it now. What do I need to do to clean it up so it doesn't grow back? It covers at least 1500 square feet. I don't care about a cultured look. I just want to get rid of that ratty-looking dead stuff permanently to tidy things up. Bringing in some kind of clean fill or even mulch as the last step would probably be fine, but something needs to be done first. Grass grows in front of it approximately 20' wide and parallel to the road. Any suggestions?

Timothy Miller
Re: "Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

howdy think cows as a new pet- you have the grass

Re: "Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

Sounds like reed canary grass, which I have a lot of on my place.

Doing a little research, it appears that the most effective treatments are fire or chemical. Keeping it mowed before it can go to seed may help, but it will take several years of dedicated maintenance.

Here's some info: http://mdc.mo.gov/your-property/problem-plants-and-animals/invasive-plants/reed-canary-grass-control

You might also check with your state agricultural university extension service.

Re: "Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

Thank you for your comments. Fencepost, you may very well be right about it being reed canary grass. The pictures in your link look just like it, although I wasn't aware of the flowering. Rhizomes certainly explain why it's so difficult to remove by hand. There's also poison ivy hidden under it in a few places. Unfortunately, it can't be mowed since the ground beneath it is very irregular and lumpy. Burning brush isn't permitted where I live. Any suggestions on how to clean up the dead stuff to expose the ground? I hate the idea of using chemicals (after that's done), but I don't know what alternatives are left. I'll probably have to hire a pro, since this is just too much for me to do and I'd like to have an idea of what I'm looking for and if they know what they're doing. Checking with the extension service is a great idea, too. How do you manage it on your property?

Re: "Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

I don't know about reed grass, but we have successfully gotten rid of blackberries on irregular ground (a field) by mowing them over several seasons with a DR Brush Cutter.

Re: "Straw" is overtaking the front of my property.

I looked into DR brush cutters, but I'm afraid I couldn't use one. It's way too big for the areas I need to do, as well as cost prohibitive. I'm not dealing with a field, just borders and several areas around 8' x 10'.

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