Friday, March 8, 2013

The tussle with Tussock

Ever heard of serrated tussock? Neither had I. I am fast learning a LOT about it now though...

Tussock causes ongoing tussles at the farm... These tussles involve using a hoe, a boot and some elbow grease! Because this serrated tussock is a weed. A BAD weed. It's got relations who are fine as grass feed for sheep, cattle etc. But not this branch of the family. It's nasty. Well, it's not nasty as in poisonous like this stuff we picked the other day. But it's exclusive, it likes it's own company and it takes up space. Sound like any relations you know of?! ;-)

Where this stuff grows nothing else does. And that means less feed that the livestock (and wildlife!) can actually eat. What's more, it's spread by the seeds blowing in the breeze! Teeny, tiny seeds. So first you have one clump growing via seed blown from over the fence, then 3 clumps, then 11 and then suddenly you have a hill covered in it. And nothing to feed the lambs on! Not fun for any farmer.

So the farmer we know is always on the lookout for tussock. And when he finds it the hoe gets a workout with a bit of boot action, then the whole clump is saved in a bag and burnt. This ensures those teeny, tiny seeds are destroyed. It's an ongoing job because not all landowners are as diligent about controlling the tussock, so the seeds keep blowing about the countryside.  One that will continue for years and years. And will probably get more intense as the weed spreads further on unmonitored land. Thankfully some landowners continue to tussle and so there is some chance of weed-free hillsides!

Have you got an ongoing tussle in your life? There are many tussles in this life. Or have you weeds that won't stay away? Hope your weekend doesn't include too many weeds or tussles!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Oh please comment! I love comments :-)