How to harvest Ruby Silk - Eragrostis tef

hvander(5B ON)July 13, 2006

I threw caution to the wind this past spring and planted a lot of items that were recommended in this forum. Most items are straight forward enough. However, I'm not sure what to do with my Ruby Silk grass. What is the correct stage for harvesting? And, more importantly, how does one harvest? Do you cut stem by stem or do you cut the whole clump and then sort them?

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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

I harvest mine when the heads are cascading and are a rich "ruby" color. Grab the grass 4-6 inches from the ground -I do a hand full at a time- and cut. I then take the grass by the neck and shake to remove any blades of grass that are not attached. I then rubberband and put in a bucket of water. The grass should give you a second harvest not as tall as the first but useable. If you have waited too long and the heads are a dull brownish color, I would cut it back and wait for the second harvest to use it.

Patty

    Bookmark   July 19, 2006 at 8:29AM
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hvander(5B ON)

Thanks Patty! I should have listened to my wife's advice! Do you have any problems with the grass falling over after it gets a certain height? I came back to my field after a heavy rain and my entire patch of grass was flattened and it wasn't a pretty sight!

    Bookmark   July 23, 2006 at 9:16PM
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Patty_WI(z4 WI)

Yes that is a problem. Last year that happened to me. It was at harvesting stage though, and I had it in landscape fabric (no dirt on the heads) so I was able to cut and use it. I should have used support netting.
Patty

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 9:26AM
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webkat5(Z6a MO)

Glad I found this thread...I just collected some seeds from mine and wondered if I could cut it back for a second flowering....

I sooo hate to cut it off just yet as it is peaking at the moment...how long do you think I have?

    Bookmark   July 24, 2006 at 2:48PM
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