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Soleair

Best seed for grass strip?

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I went in to the local Landmark depot today. Had a long chat with the guy there. We looked at various grasses, best one looked to be described as 'oval mix' or something similar. Used on footy fields & at Lethbridge airfield. Mix of various different grasses. Looked ideal, until I worked out that for a 400m x 10m seeded strip, price of seed alone was around $1200! So I'll prolly just go with Vic rye, which browns off in summer but recovers with rain. Cost is less than 200 bucks.

Why not get $200 of the good seed and plant in rows and let it grow out to full cover over time?

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Oh dear. So many different ideas. Now I don't know what to do. . . Whatever I decide, it must be done soon, before the middle of autumn. It's already cold here today.

 

Many thanks to all who have replied.

 

 

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Silly question, but does it have to be grass? Would a dirt runway, kept smooth by the old dragging-railway-line / sheet of reo method be suitable?

 

 

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I wondered about that. The problems I foresee are erosion, by wind & rain, if no roots to hold it together. And damage to my wooden propellor from small stones.

 

 

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Don't even think about it ! Lucerne mown low and often won't last. It is designed to be in a rotation so it can recuperate and needs to be let grow out (30cm high) quite often or it will die out.

Yeah. That wasn't a comment of mine backed by experience. I had thoughts later that if it was cut short, the stems would get woody and be likely to damage the tyres.

 

It's just that I was up near Dubbo last weekend, and there isn't much of any type of grass on the ground due to the drought conditions. I thought that a perennial plant would be better than an annual grass.

 

 

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Just remember......you pay peanuts you get monkeys. taz.gif.490d45736e0c5b2b8aed4ec1b230ed8b.gifPay the money and have it for years!

Vic rye needs heaps of fertilizer ( $400.00 per ton ), will not stand heavy traffic and has a short growing season.

 

Do it once and do it properly.

 

But what would I know I'm only a farmer ?

OK Butch, you've sold me on using better grass. I might use 'oval grass' mix in the middle 200m, & el cheapo rye for 100m at each end. I only need <150m for takeoff & landing.

 

Do you have any suggestions on how to keep the birds off my gourmet grass seed?

 

Thanks

 

Bruce

 

 

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OK Butch, you've sold me on using better grass. I might use 'oval grass' mix in the middle 200m, & el cheapo rye for 100m at each end. I only need <150m for takeoff & landing.Do you have any suggestions on how to keep the birds off my gourmet grass seed?

Bruce the ideal way to sow you seed is with a small seed drill that places the seed a few milometer's under the soil to germinate so the birds can't find it. Some of the departments like DEPI have them for lend or hire or you may find a neighbour with one that might do it for you.

 

The mane thing is to sow into moisture so the seed germinates and grows after sowing, the best time is around late April early May when the soil is still warm enough to get good seed germination.

 

Good luck,

 

Butch

 

(Sorry Birdseye posted after your post)

 

 

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a few milometer's under the soil to germinate so the birds can't find i

Some birds are cluey brutes! Grass seed will be ok BUT we used to have trouble when we were planting corn with cockatoos, we would plant the corn in rows about 2-3inches deep with the seeds around 4 inches apart and the cockies would find a row and then work their way along only digging a hole every four inches, they would dig out that seed and then move on and get the next one.

 

I never really worked out how they knew where the seeds were but it was super frustrating as only a handful of cockies could clear a fair little patch in a short amount of time.

 

 

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from my experience with my 'field in SE Qld: you can see my scary field on YouTube, video of both approaches filmed by drone - comments please - it's only 200m but for the Drifter it will be OK

 

I have not seeded, just evened out the strip - the area at the southern end of the field still doesn't have grass on it because of the pure clay that keeps washing down from a slope - I will have to fix that

 

I am going to have to fence it off from the cattle - when it is soft from big rain they leave bloody deep hoof prints all through it, making it rough as hell - dealing with their droppings is also a problem

 

I have a heavy rack (SHS frame with concrete mesh) that evens out the strip and breaks up the crap and turns it into good fertiliser, but that's more trouble than it's worth. if you want to fly, you first clear out the cattle, then rack the field = 1 hour probably...and if they have been there recently, you are going to need a little cleaning of the aircraft before you put it in the hangar - they are great mowers but too much of a pain for me

 

the rack is also very good for picking up rocks as well, but you have to have a smaller mesh section and some raised barriers at the back to keep them in

 

when it comes time to getting every last rock off the field, offer cold hard cash to the local kids and do an emu bob for rocks thrown off the field (or into a trailer) - works for me !

 

my (natural) grass here is a mix of green panic and couch - in the patches where it is nicely established it looks brilliant

 

hope the above helps, cheers

 

BP

 

 

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Don't use oval mix ! Our Strip is at 539 Bolinda rd. near you. the Fescue was I think the dominant grass and the couch (16%) in Oval mix just did not take off. Overall there was too much tall grass unless you like mowing a lot, and now 2 years later its looking more like the paddock rye that was there in the first place. Also beware of melons and other weeds that will infest the turned over ground if there is not enough seed for competition. Get advice from a fairway manager at one of the local golf courses. cheers Warren Hall

 

 

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No Worries, welcome to drop in and check out my efforts - 2 x 800m strips. Going back to a mix of any grass that does not clump for my place. Let us know if you turn up any better solutions.

 

987003869_BlueTongueSolarStrip.jpg.e9af2b9dec87823eae4d53423c4452db.jpg

 

 

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If you want a grass strip , it needs to be 100% grass. In a windy area the wind will pick up the soil up wind of your plants and deposit it on the other side. You end up with a bumpy strip. No grass at all with the help of roundup works well , the strip needs to be elevated so that after rain no water stays on the strip.

 

If you go with grass be prepared to mow regularly, use a low growing species; definitely not Lucerne.

 

 

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I'd also go for Qld Blue Couch - which apparently is not actually a couch, nor does it come from Qld, but whatever ... I like the low maintenance and the way it spreads to cover bald patches and is soft enough to have a low rolling resistance for a plane.If you want to reduce the sowing cost for any grass type, as long as it is a variety that spreads readily and you're happy to be a little patient, I would avoid using seed altogether. As mentioned above, birds will probably eat 90% of the seed you sow, so that's a big cost in itself.

 

If you buy about 1% of the coverage you need in Qld Blue turf, you can break the turf apart and during the wet part of your year, plant small pieces at about 300mm grid spacing. Just spike a hole in wet ground, place a small clump of turf and press the soil back around it. In a month or so, the small pieces will have started to produce runners and in about twelve months the patches should be all closed up.

You should be able to get Qld Blue Couch for free off someone. We have it in our yard.

 

 

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Any suggestions on suitable low growing species?

RAA Wozz sounds like he has good strips and is near you. Offer to pay a weekly rent and use his strips if he is agreeable. ;)

 

 

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No grass at all with the help of roundup works well , the strip needs to be elevated so that after rain no water stays on the strip.

I'm tempted to go no grass, but a couple of points concern me. Firstly, erosion. The strip is on a gentle slope, so no worries re standing water (not that it ever rains here). Would rolling after prepping it be enough to hold it together? Soil is mostly clay.

 

Secondly, I'm guessing I'd have to spray fairly regularly with weedkiller. Given that the area is over 5000 sq.m, the cost of weedkiller - particularly good stuff like Roundup - is likely to add up over the year. Maybe to more than the cost of good grass seed (about $1200, plus the gear to water it).

 

If you have made a grass strip, or operated a bare soil strip, I'd be very grateful for your feedback, slenne. Cheers!

 

Bruce

 

 

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I would just let nature do its thing.If it rains and the grass,weeds get to long just slash it .Do you have something to drag behind a tractor to keep it smooth and level when its dry and nothing is growing on it and is bare. I use a bunch of railway line welded together.

 

 

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