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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Does reed canarygrass work well in wet pasture areas?

Q: I have areas of my pasture that remain quite wet for an extended period of time after it rains. Would reed canarygrass work well in these types of areas?

A: Reed canarygrass is one of the best species for poorly drained soils and tolerates flooding better than other cool season grasses. Reed canarygrass seed tends to be more expensive and more difficult to establish than other grass species, but is suited for the situation described. Reed canarygrass can also be invasive, but newer varieties tend to be less invasive. This means it might be difficult to remove reed canarygrass from your pastures once it's established or to keep it from invading native wetlands. Be sure to keep horses out of the wet areas until the area has dried. If the horses are allowed to graze when wet, it can result in soil compaction, destruction of plant material, hoof problems, and other potential injuries.

By Krishona Martinson, PhD, University of Minnesota

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