November 14, 2008

How green is your grass?

Recently someone mentioned that I was quite lucky to have such nice green grass. It is true that one of the advantages of living in Normandy is the abundance of grass. For example, it’s not unusual for me to have to mow the lawn in November ... and then again in February! Of course, the grass grows slower during the winter .... but it does continue to grow ... and it is green! With all this grass, it’s not at all surprising that Normandy is so well known for dairy production. Just think of cows as being very, very large sheep! Remember, they are both ruminants!

But even if Normandy is blessed with beautiful pasture land ... occasionally one does have to do some re-seeding. This is generally achieved with little effort : scattering handfuls of seed in the early spring or fall. That said, I have had one big problem with this method! Earlier this spring I tried to do some re-seeding .... unfortunately the birds ate the seed before it could germinate!

After a bit of research, I decided to germinate the seed before sowing.
I bought 3 KG of ray grass seed. Mixed it with 5 KG of potting soil. Put the mixture in a heavy weight black plastic bag. Added some water (not too much). Kept the bag in a warm place ... I left mine on the south-facing patio. Once a day I rolled the bag about. Within 5-6 days I had a bag full of sprouted seed. After raking some of the “bare spots” in the orchard, I scattered the germinated seed. And left nature to the rest!

This is what the germinated seed looks like :

Germinated Ray Grass Seed

I was quite pleased with this method. So far, I’ve gotten a really good stand of grass!
Here’s a small patch of grass ... approximately 2 weeks after scattering the germinated seed.

It might not look like much right now .... but by March - April .... it will supply my little ones with some beautiful, high-quality pasture!

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