The rush is on!
These days, I’m constantly rushing to answer phone queries on controlling rushes. So, some frequently asked questions are answered here.
“Encouraging grass growth will, in turn, reduce the existence of rushes. Having a fertile soil with adequate nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, and a suitable pH for grass growth, is critical
Why have rushes become a problem on many farms in recent years?
>> The global warming/wetting weather of recent years, and the resultant poaching, left many swards open to invasion by rushes. Although associated with wet soils and poached areas, clumps of rushes are now a common sight in pasture fields in drier areas.
How come rushes are so hard to control?
>> Soft rush, the most common type of rush, is characterised by an erect mode of growth with no leaves and a very tough outer skin, making it difficult to control with herbicides. Also, the plant is deep rooted, with large root reserves of food.
What’s the best way of limiting rushes in grassland?
>> Seeds from rushes germinate only if conditions are favourable. Maintaining a fertile, dense, leafy grass sward is the best method to prevent rushes establishing and spreading. Encouraging grass growth will, in turn, reduce the existence of rushes. Having a fertile soil with adequate levels of nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, along with a suitable pH for grass growth is critical.
Frequent topping, timely fertilisation, application of lime, and drainage will all help limit the spread of rushes.