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Katrina's Homeground

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Clarence

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While we were comming home from North Platte in the early evening of Sunday I noticed how pretty the big Sandhill were along the Dismal River.
Some Juniper there, but what really impressed me was The Reds of the Bluestem and it being intermingled with the yellow and the green. The light was just perfect at that time, would have beena good tiime for picture taking. On the way home I also noticed the pretty Indian Grass in the road ditches just north of North Platte. Indian grass is one of my favorites, could be used as an ornamental. Not much of it grows on mt upland ranch site, but I do have one plant in my yard as an ornamental.
 

nr

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There's something about getting out of the hospital that makes a person notice nature's colors more. After being sick for a month once the iris seemed to me to be a shocking color of intense blue. They've never been as blue since :D

Is Indian grass the same thing as Indian Paintbrush?
 

Clarence

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nr:

Indian grass is a native preannual grass, somewhhat similiar to Big Bluestem. It grows to about 4 1/2 feet. has a nice green color during the summer, but turns red and light brown in the fall. It gets a sort of gold color lance shaped head, 4 t0 12 inches long which adds to it's beauty. It is relished by cattle so is considered a decreaser. It grows where there is an aboundance of moisture. I suspect where I saw it growing it was planted along the highways for erosion control and highway beautfication. For anyone interested in more, the biological name for this grass is Sorghastrum arvenaceum. Big Bluestem is similiar, spreads more from rhizomes, Has blue-green leaves and stems and a more open type seed head, divided like a turkey foot, which is one of it's common names.

Indian paint brush is a forb. It usually grows where there is sagebrush. It is somewhat parasitic and depends somewhat on other plants. It seems to be common in the mountain states. I have found Downy Paintbrush here on my ranch It grows on shally or rocky sidehill in association with some of the prairie sages.
 

nr

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Clarence,
You've reminded me how pretty different grasses are in big clumps.
We have a pile of dirt leftover from some excavation work in back of our house and I've been wondering what to do with it (besides manually moving it!). A rock garden that needs lots of weeding has NO appeal, but after you've talked about grasses, maybe planting "the mountain" with grasses and wildflowers would work- sort of our own Sandhills :wink: . We have one clump of tall grasses already which is beside it so adding a few different kinds might be nice and I won't have to weed it. It is amazing what a thick and heavy rootsystem those prairie grasses have. No wonder they made great sodhouses.
By the way, that sorghum that came up under the birdfeeder has nice seedheads on it.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Clarence, since you mentioned Increasers and Decreasers it got me to thinking. In our area Needle andTthread is a decreaser but in the Great Sand hills of Sask. it is considered a Increaser, which reeked havoc with the plant ID contest at native Prairie week. What is it considered in the Nebraska Sand Hills. I remember soapweed and bob mentioned about all of it this year and was just wondering.
 

katrina

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Clarence,
Could you see how full the Dismal was??? I was raised at the very head of the Dismal. The meadows would be starting to fill with water now. How did the hills look south of Mullen?? Makes me homesick. :cry: I haven't been that way for along time...
 

Clarence

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BMR:
Needle and thread is considered as a decreaser here. It, Western Wheatgrass, and a sedge are our earliest, so are grazed heavily during there main growing season for cool grasses. Needle and thread decreases under that system, however if the area is used for hay where it is cut a little later it will rapidly increase. Western Wheatgrass don't do as well on the sandy soils, so the needle grass would get more grazing pessure.
That would be my answer anyway perhaps not all would agree.
 

Jinglebob

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We have a grass that I thought was called indian grass. Grows to be taller than most around here. Spreads from the roots and the circle of grass will get bigger and bigger.

I used to think it was no good because it seemed like the cows would only eat it in late March and April and seemed like I was starving them. Then I found out that it is so tough stalked that it takes that long for it to soften up to where the cows will eat it. At that time it is about 15% protein! I really like it now! :lol:
 

Big Muddy rancher

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Clarence said:
BMR:
Needle and thread is considered as a decreaser here. It, Western Wheatgrass, and a sedge are our earliest, so are grazed heavily during there main growing season for cool grasses. Needle and thread decreases under that system, however if the area is used for hay where it is cut a little later it will rapidly increase. Western Wheatgrass don't do as well on the sandy soils, so the needle grass would get more grazing pessure.
That would be my answer anyway perhaps not all would agree.

Clarence that is what I would have thought as well. It caused great debate up in the great sandhills as the "Experts" were didvided on whether in the Sandhills it was a increaser and in our short mixed grass prairie it is a Decreaser.
 

cowsense

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I've always considered needle and thread as a decreaser in our hill ground and would have to concur that it likes adequate moisture as the last two years have produced a bumper crop! It's good grazing up until heading but I have found that it is awful hard on Border Collies....try not to use them too much when the seed set is on!
 

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