Different Kinds Of Needlegrasses: Tips For Growing Needlegrasses Plants
Purple Needle Grass (Cordyline grandiflora)
The Purple Needle Grass is one of the most common plants in our area. It grows naturally in many areas of Texas, but it is especially abundant along the Gulf Coast from Corpus Christi to Beaumont. Its name comes from its purple coloration which resembles needles or hair.
There are several species of Purple Needle Grass, each with their own distinctive appearance. However, all Purple Needle Grasses have similar characteristics such as having small leaves that grow up to 3 inches long and 2 inches wide, and flowers that appear in clusters of 5-10 pinkish white seeds.
There are two ways to cultivate Purple Needle Grass. One way is to plant them directly into the ground where they will take over the place where there was regular lawn grass. Another method is to cut back the existing lawn and then replant the Purple Needle Grass in its place.
Both methods work well, but the second method tends to produce larger quantities of Purple Needle Grass than does planting directly into the ground.
When growing Purple Needle Grass, you must be careful not to injure your plants when cutting down trees and shrubs around your property so that they don’t compete with your Purple Needle Grass. It is also important to not over water your grass as it has a tendency to rot if you do so.
Green Needle Grass (Stipa viridula)
The Green Needle Grass is a smaller form of needle grass. It grows only about 6 inches high and is more suitable for planting in smaller gardens or even on the top of flower pots. It does very well in sandy soil allowing it to grow rapidly.
To cultivate Green Needle Grass, it is best to start with a sandy soil as the grass finds it easy to grow and spread in such conditions. If there is no sand, then you should add some to your garden and make sure that it is well mixed into the soil before planting your seeds.
Due to its small size, Green Needle Grass is not suitable for large gardens. It can be grown on a small pot or in a flower bed with other low growing plants. Once the grass is fully grown, it spreads out to form a mat of green that looks very nice and can even be used to keep the soil in place on banks or hill sides.
Green Needle Grass also does not like being over watered. It tends to die off if it becomes too water logged. It grows best when only lightly watered.
Green Needle Grass can be used as feed for animals, but it is not suited to this purpose in all cases. It has more nutritional value than the Purple Needle Grass, but it does not grow in as large quantities so it is not as suited as animal feed. However, if you have a small garden Green Needle Grass is a great way to keep your own animals happy and healthy.
ENSURING YOUR SUPPLY OF NEEDLE GRASSS
One advantage of both the Purple Needle Grass and Green Needle Grass over wheat and corn is that they grow all year round. This means that your animals will always have a ready supply of feed, but it also means that you need to ensure that you always have a ready supply of seeds.
To ensure that you always have a good stock of seeds for sowing or re-sowing, you should pick and save your own when the plants are available. This is surprisingly simple as all you need to do is pull out the larger stalk and then dry it in the sun. When dry the seeds can then be shaken out of the stalk carefully and stored for later use.
You can also buy seeds from other farmers or buy them from general stores that sell seeds. However, just because a packet of seeds says that it is for growing Purple Needle Grass or Green Needle Grass doesn’t mean that they will grow correctly. Different types of plants require different types of seed and some stores don’t care as much about the quality of their stock as they should.
As such, it is always best to try a batch of seeds before buying in bulk.
One thing that you should be aware of is that there is one type of plant that resembles Purple Needle Grass, but is very different and that is the Sweet Hog Grass (Axonalopsis Rinorea). This plant looks very similar to Purple Needle Grass when it is still young, but can be identified by its pinker colour and by the sweetness of its stalk. The leaves of Sweet Hog Grass are also unlike those of Purple Needle Grass in that they have a more rounded shape.
Sweet Hog Grass is not toxic to animals and is sometimes used as a replacement for Purple Needle Grass in areas where it is difficult to grow the correct plant. However, it does not have as many of the health giving benefits that Purple Needle Grass has and as such is not as valuable. Farmers who try to cut corners by using Sweet Hog Grass are selling you a lowered quality product.
Sweet Hog Grass does have some value as animal feed, but it has a lower nutritional value than Purple Needle Grass and as such you are advised not to use it as a replacement. In addition, Sweet Hog Grass is not a winter plant and so will not grow in the colder months. This means that there will be a period where your animals have to go without feed if you rely on this substandard substitute.
Livestock is an important part of every farm. Having a few cows, pigs or sheep not only provides you with a small income from the sales of milk, eggs and other products, but it also ensures that you always have a supply of meat and skins whenever you need them. In addition, animals can serve as a form of transportation.
While horses and donkeys are the standard, a large bull can provide a ride for particularly small passengers and a mule is often better than a horse when it comes to rough terrain.
Having a few animals around also improves your farm in another way, by providing a source of fertilizer. Many farmers have a mixture of cattle, sheep and chicken manure that they spread over their fields to ensure good fertile soil. This is a lot cheaper than buying in fertilizer from elsewhere.
When it comes to livestock, you have a choice of nine animals that you can farm. These are Cows, Goats, Sheep, Pigs, Chicken, Ducks, Geese and Silkworms.
Farm size and animal choice is usually determined by your climate. For instance, it would be difficult to keep cows in the same way as a farmer in the desert region where there is less grass and more sand. In addition, you can only keep certain animals together.
For example, you would not keep sheep and goats in the same farm as they will fight with each other.
When it comes to selling animal products, some animals are worth more than others. Cows and pigs fall into this category as do their products. In general, animals that give liquids, such as milk, fall into this category such as the cow and the goat.
The final category is animals that have a higher risk of disease and those that fly fall into this grouping. Chickens, ducks and geese fall into this category, as do their eggs and their products.
You can also sell animal feed if you have a steady supply of some of the herbs mentioned above. Crushed beans and grains can both be used as feed for chickens, ducks, geese and sheep while crushed oats and corn work for horses, cows and pigs. Herbs can also be used to fatten up your livestock faster.
If you want to improve the coat of your animals, you can grow comfrey, which is a valuable substance particularly for sheep. Alternatively, you can harvest some of the wild herbs growing in your area such as dandelions, thistles or plantain. These can be used either to improve the health of your livestock or to improve the taste of your milk, eggs and meats.
You can sell the milk, cream, cheese, eggs and meats that your animals produce. While you can use everything you harvest, you should focus on selling those products that bring in the most money for you. For instance, sheep’s milk is a lot less valuable than cow’s milk while wild honey is far less valuable than the honey you have bred.
You can either take the effort to trade your products to others or simply sell them at your local market. In some cases, your local market may not be able to provide you with enough for you to make a profit. Alternatively, you can travel to another town that has a better market.
This will probably require you to hire caravan guards as banditry is quite common on the roads.
Finally, if you have a lot of animals, you can engage in a process known as cooperative production. This involves you and any other farmers in your area pooling your resources together in order to create a unified product. A cooperative production chain works best when all members live close together, although arrangements can be made through an intermediary such as a trader.
The products are then divided among the farmers depending on the amount each contributed. The products can then be sold as one unified product or the intermediary can sort it into different products.
So there are a few choices for you.
Which one appeals to you?
Back to your normal life?
Buy a herd of cows?
Buy a herd of pigs?
Buy a herd of sheep?
Buy a herd of goats?
Buy a mix of pigs, cows and sheep?
You can also look at our Random Generators to create your own herding system.
You have been tasked to buy a herd of animals for your master’s ranch. He is not very picky and will accept most types of cattle, pigs, goats or sheep. You need to buy at least 30 head but no more than 100 head.
The price per head depends on the type of animal, the closer they are to towns the more expensive they are. The further away from towns, the cheaper they are.
Here are some examples:
Cattle are cheaper than pigs, which are cheaper than goats which are cheaper than sheep.
Cows are less expensive than Pigs.
Sheep are less expensive than Goats.
The closer to a town, the more expensive the animals.
The further from a town, the less expensive the animals.
You have a budget of 10,000 gold coins.
So do you want to take on this challenge?
OK, Let’s begin.
Well, you can always try again.
Here are your options:
Buy 50 Cows for 7000 gold coins.
Buy 30 Pigs for 5000 gold coins.
Buy 20 Goats for 3000 gold coins.
Buy 15 Sheep for 2500 gold coins.
Buy 10 bulls and 10 heifers (These are young cattle) for 4000 gold coins.
Buy 5 Horses for a 1000 gold coins.
Random. The computer will pick which animals you buy out of the options you have chosen.
You have chosen to let the computer choose your animals for you.
The computer has selected that you purchase:
You will receive:7 Cows, 2 bulls, 3 heifers and 4 pigs.
About 2800 cows, pigs, goats and sheep in total will be arriving at your Ranch. This should definitely increase the amount of meat, milk and other products that you will have available.
Your 10,000 gold coins have been spent and you have started on your new venture. Good luck!
You now have your herd at your ranch. However, they need to be fed and looked after which will take time away from your regular jobs. They are also very smelly and some of the locals aren’t happy that you have brought such an aroma to the area.
You can try and negotiate with the Council for better treatment, you can also try to improve their smell by making them eat certain foods, or you can just ignore these problems and focus on the money you are making from selling their produce and meat.
What do you want to do?
You have the option of purchasing a bull or two to improve your herd’s fertility, or leave things as they are.
Sources & references used in this article:
Surveillance protocols for management of invasive plants: modelling Chilean needle grass (Nassella neesiana) in Australia by JC Fox, YM Buckley, FD Panetta… – Diversity and …, 2009 – Wiley Online Library
Green needlegrass seedling morphology in relation to planting depth. by TE Fulbright, AM Wilson… – Rangeland Ecology & …, 1985 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Influence of crusting soil surfaces on emergence and establishment of crested whestgrass, squirreltail, Thurber needlegrass, and fourwing saltbush Agropyron … by MK Wood, RE Eckert… – … /Journal of Range …, 1982 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Germination requirements of green needlegrass (Stipa viridula Trin.) for use in revegetation of disturbed lands in South Dakota, Montana. by TE Fulbright, EF Redente… – Rangeland Ecology & …, 1983 – journals.uair.arizona.edu
Burning of northern mixed prairie during drought. by DM Engle, PM Bultsma – Rangeland Ecology & …, 1984 – journals.uair.arizona.edu