Growing grass ... what are recommended types to plant?

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redinque

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 1:09 am


I recently decided to fix up the unused backyard and turn it into an area where I can build a guinea pig run for Caramel and Toby to frolic outdoors and graze on grass without feeling so vulnerable. Currently, there's nothing growing, and I want to plant some grass. The thing is it's a very shady area that gets little to no sun. Are there any recommended grasses that grow in the shade that the guinea pigs can eat?

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Rai
Guinea Sunshine Forever

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 1:46 am


blue grass?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 1:48 am


No grass will really grow well in shade, unfortunately.

Grass needs some sun, otherwise you'll just get weeds and bare patches of earth.

Of course, you could always try wheatgrass - just imagine a whole garden of the stuff!

Perhaps someone else will have ideas?

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Rai
Guinea Sunshine Forever

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 1:56 am


What about things other than grass? Shad loving ground cover? Moss? Clovers? WTH is safe for the little lawnmowers to eat?

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 2:02 am


Not clover - at least I know some types are dangerous for horses :-p

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 10:26 am


Ditto to what Mum said. Not much will grow if it is quite shady. Perhaps thin the branches on your trees? Some shade is quite desireable.

Try fescue, orchard grass. It takes at least a season to establish it though. If they eat up the young grass it will die.

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lisam

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 10:28 am


You can buy grass mixes at the feed store/nursery/garden center that are specifically for shade. I doubt there would be anything they couldn't eat in there.

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Jennicat

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 11:04 am


Creeping Red Fescue is great for shady areas. It can't take the sun. Unfortunately, it's also sort of finely textured, and it may not 'mix' in well with your other grass. It should be ok for pigs, but I'll defer to someone with more experience in the matter.

redinque

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 11:45 am


Thanks, everybody, for your answers! Yeah, I suppose it doesn't have to be grass. Just something other than just dirt for them to walk around on. Maybe I'll go check out some nurseries or gardening stores and ask them for recommendations.

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WindeSpirit
Sewing for a Cause

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 12:06 pm


Bluegrass did good for my parents house backyard, which is toatlly shaded by trees, no direct sun at all. Needs a good fertilizer though.
Some nut grasses grow well in indirect sun as well, I don't know names but they are a hearty grass and most (all?) are ok for the pigs.

aqh88

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 4:17 pm


Are you sure fescue is safe? It often contains a toxic fungus that causes death in livestock. There are special fescue varieties for pastures that don't contain that fungus but I don't think they are so careful about lawn seed mix. If nothing else crab grass grows anywhere although it isn't usually a desired lawn grass and you probably won't find seeds in any store selling lawn grass.

I still have to say I've never heard of clover directly causing death in any horses. Only that it can cause excess salivation and if there isn't enough of a water supply around they can die from dehydration and the heat in summer.

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Mum
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 4:25 pm


I've never heard of clover directly causing death in any horses.
I seem to remember reading something somewhere about some clovers.

Here's something:
http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/forage/alsike/alsike.htm

aqh88

Post   » Tue May 02, 2006 6:39 pm


I don't think I've ever seen alsike clover here. It also sounds like it's very variable. Sometimes it causes problems, sometimes it doesn't, and it's converted by a certain bacteria in the horses gut so it may or may not effect guinea pigs depending if they share that bacteria. Something to watch for growing in your area but from the sites I found it looks like it's not very desireable and produces poor and small amounts of hay. Unless you have some growing wild it's not likely to be in seed mixes and you should be able to easily find plain red clover seed or a list of the type of clover in any seed mix. However clover isn't the best for guinea pigs to graze on in large amounts anyway. Finding a good grass or mixing various shade loving plants with the clover would be better. This site http://www.shadegrass.com/ has tips on growing grass in shady areas.

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lisam

Post   » Tue May 23, 2006 8:10 pm


The 4H leader brought over some clover today for the pigs, but it doesn't look like the clover that grows in my yard (I usually only sparingly give clover, or not at all).

Here's a picture of it:
Image
Image

Have you seen this kind? In my yard I have white clover, and a pinkish kind, but nothing this red and conical looking.

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Lynx
RESIST

Post   » Tue May 23, 2006 11:24 pm


Reminds me of purple clover. Purple clover is very very tasty and pigs love it. It really is more purple though.

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PiggieMamma
I GAVE, dammit!

Post   » Wed May 24, 2006 2:18 pm


I bought a wheat grass mix here:

http://citycats.biz/orders.htm

They have potted grasses, or lawn kits.

tatermom

Post   » Mon May 28, 2007 11:15 pm


Can anyone tell me what kind of dirt I should use if I plan on growing grass for the piggies? I built a giant outdoor run today and found the organic soil I bought contains lime. Any normal grass seed okay, such as Scotts?

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