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OnlineBaby_Hitler
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Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye
    #25995371 - 05/16/19 02:24 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

So this is what I'm planning on doing this fall. First, I get a 50# bag of cereal rye from the Farmer's Co-op. Then I spray about 4000 sq ft of my yard with roundup. (It's an area between the driveway and the woods that I have already designated as my wacky experiments plot.) Then I throw about ten lbs of rye and a couple lbs of red clover at it, and run the mower over it creating a thin layer of mulch.


THEN, I do pretty much the same thing with the other 0.4 acre of my front yard except I don't spray it with roundup, and probably leave out the red clover, just broadcast rye and mow; sometime around October when the grass stops growing anyway, and which is also when you're supposed to seed your rye cover crops.

I'm hoping the next spring, the rye will get ahead of the existing lawn grass, and shade it out. If so, I'll leave that part of the yard alone and see if it reseeds itself. The part next to the woods I'll harvest with a scythe and thresh out the grain. The clover should take over at that point, and then next fall I'll broadcast more rye and mow the clover down on top of it.


The goal here is two part. The grain and clover should improve the structure of the soil, as should the rye alone in the main part of the yard to a lesser extent while also providing me with a usable food source if needed. The whole thing is part of a long-term prepper project to produce a source of calories should something happen to the food supply chain in the event of some kind of crisis.

In the event of such a crisis, I would kill the clover and replace it with food crops. Peanuts and soy would replace the clover as the nitrogen fixing legume, and if the soil has improved enough, I may able able to grow corn, potatoes, and sweet potatoes, along with some other crops such as kale, cabbage, turnips, etc. My soil is pretty heavy clay, but it does grow grass very well which to me suggests that cereal grains should be able to grow decently well here.

To be honest, I'm just getting sick of mowing that front half-acre. It needs to find something better to do with its time than grow useless grass for me to mow. Also, the Bradford pears aren't doing me any favors, either, but that's another project for another year.


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #26008417 - 05/23/19 02:06 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Ok, I've pretty much decided to scale this down to about 900 sq.ft with the roundup and a few hundred more with the no-roundup-just-throwing-it-in-the-grass, all in the wacky experiments plot.

I'm gonna hit it with the roundup this weekend, and then broadcast a mix of millets, sorghums, and mung beans. I also have some cowpeas and buckwheat that I bought a couple of years ago. I'll probably toss some of that in, too.

Then this fall I have two kinds of rye and one kind of triticale that I just bought, and some turnip and radish that is also about 2 years old. might as well toss them in, too.

I found a good series on cover crops on youtube that I'm kind of using as my main source of info for this project, along with some other sources that they mention, such as SARE. Here's the link:



I also already have one 1200 square foot plot in the wacky experiments plot that I tried a mix of clovers, turnips, radish, and chicory on a couple of years ago. The only thing that really took hold was the clover, which is still doing quite well. I'll probably throw some grain seeds into that and see what happens.


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Baby_Hitler] * 1
    #26008424 - 05/23/19 02:10 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

:threadmonitor:


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #26012212 - 05/25/19 08:33 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Did you know there are Roomba's for cutting grass now?




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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Asante]
    #26012864 - 05/25/19 04:32 PM (1 year, 1 month ago)

I think I've seen those.


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #26012968 - 05/25/19 05:36 PM (1 year, 1 month ago)

Why not go straight for soy? I mean, just about nothing pulls nitrogen out of the air like that one. Even if you don't tofu, it makes insane composting.

If you're gonna go the way of Roundup, you might as well go the whole 9 yards and follow up with soy,

Is paraquat still a thing in the US?


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Asante] * 1
    #26013118 - 05/25/19 07:36 PM (1 year, 1 month ago)

I believe it is.

Small grains should be able to be just broadcast where a larger seed like soy would definitely have to be planted. Next year I will probably do some soy and peanuts, corn, curcurbits, okra, brassicas, etc. This year I just want to find out what, if anything, will grow by just throwing it on the ground.

I also want to do double-cropping, which does work well with soy as a warm season crop.cereal grains will be my cool season crop.


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #26017584 - 05/28/19 06:53 AM (1 year, 1 month ago)

I read this last night when I was drunk.

What an interesting idea. Very neat.

Post those pics when you get going!


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: XUL]
    #26647221 - 05/04/20 02:07 AM (2 months, 8 days ago)

How'd this end up working out for you?

I'm considering try this with my lawn for poultry feed. Except I'm going to try just mowing the lawn super short and broadcasting the rye over the remaining grass, then gently raking it in to try to work it in deeper. I'd read about people doing it with ryegrass seed, not sure how different that is from cereal rye but the stuff is cheap enough for me to try it on faith


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Re: Replacing my front lawn with cereal rye [Re: Psilosopherr]
    #26647304 - 05/04/20 03:04 AM (2 months, 8 days ago)

Quote:

Psilosopherr said:
How'd this end up working out for you?

I'm considering try this with my lawn for poultry feed. Except I'm going to try just mowing the lawn super short and broadcasting the rye over the remaining grass, then gently raking it in to try to work it in deeper. I'd read about people doing it with ryegrass seed, not sure how different that is from cereal rye but the stuff is cheap enough for me to try it on faith





It's pretty patchy. in my estimate something along the lines of between 5 and 10 percent of what I could have gotten in the same spot if I had ran a tiller over it and raked it in. But there are some spots that did fairly well. I wish I had taken a picture of the area after I broadcasted the seed. I can't tell if it grew where the gass mulch was high, or low, or inbetween, or what could have caused those spots to have done so well. If the whole area had done as well as the good spots, I might have gotten 70% of tilled field yield.

It was a very wet winter, and some of that part of the yard can stay swampy for quite a while after a good rain, that could also have been a factor.

I did do another spot in a small fenced off garden where I had placed a VERY deep gras mulch earlier in the spring. It had rotted down considerably, and the soil was much better in that spot because of it. I raked back what was left of the grass mulch, ran a garden weasel over it, scattered the rye grains, and then replaced some of the grass mulch. That area did very well, comparable to what I would have expected to get from tilled ground. Unfortunately, I had to crimp the rye to kill it so I could put this years garden there, so I don't know what the yield would have been.

I'll be starting some similar experiments soon with warm season gains and other crops (a few types of millet, sorghum, black oil, and mammoth sunflowers, pumpkins, bush beans, and okra) both tilled and untilled. I also have a Meadow Creature broadfork that I will use in a spot or two.


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