wild hay grass seen everywhere in contruction and highway sites

herboilApril 21, 2008


I'm sure some of you have put down the "hay" you buy at home depot or lowes when over seeding or mulching a bed or whatever use you have for it.

Well, this same hay that has sprouted in my yard and produced tall healthy plants when fed is seen all over Georgia 400 and any suburbian area being cultivated.


What it is, is a tall grass, -4 feet tall. YOU may have seen it in your area. It looks like grain seed heads and thin tall individual plants with single seed spikes. One of the only ones like it in the area because the plant is all green, even the seed sheaths.


I was going to harvest some for decorations, rabbit feed or other crafts. Anyone know what this "hay" is, in modern terms? Perhaps I could even bake bread or brew beer out of it?


Hay Yall

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shot(8 - GA)

herboil, could it be rye grass?


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:47AM
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It is true that if you (a homeowner) puts down some wheat straw (that is what it is called, not sure if it is really wheat), some seeds germinate and send up some tall grass. This is an annual and will disappear after a time (especially once you start mowing).

There is another thing ... when road work is done, the crews spread down a mat of pre-seeded "stuff" on slopes and that sprouts and grows like crazy. Hopefully that is a combination of fast growing "grass" and long term grass, but I don't know what it is. You might could call DOT or some county department of roads and ask them if it is edible (and I imagine they will say No for liability reasons) or at least ask them what kind of seed it is.

Or you could look on the web and see if you find any definition of these products. See link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Section 716Erosion Control Mats (Slopes)

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 8:58AM
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satellitehead(z8 ATL Metro)

i think i know exactly what you're talking about - because it is coming up all over here in metro Atlanta at the corner of Estoria St. and Memorial Ave. (how sad is it that I pay attn to roadside weeds?)

the stuff growing at that corner (and up Estoria St.) looks like 'winter wheat'. it has a very distinctive wheat seed purse (or whatever you'd call it). i can snap some photos if this sounds like what you're seeing as well.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:30AM
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It could be Rye, yes, I'm not sure.. I looked at various pictures online of different hay types and came up empty handed.
This hay is similar to what you are describing.
What set's this grass apart is that it grows three or more feet tall and it stands high above the other grasses that workers may sow or roll out for errosion control.
It's hard to miss it when you see it, since it's soo tall and healthy looking.. I may try feeding some to the rabbits just to see if it's OK.. I'm pretty sure it's edibile. I'm not sure whether it's shattering seed heads or not.
I'm going to harvest a bales worth of it tommorow and experiment further to see if the squirrells or birds eat it.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 4:42PM
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PS- Yes it appears that it very may well be rye. It looks like the one on the right, the tall ryegrass specimen.
It's amazing what that red clay can grow with little rain to speak of for weeks at a time sometimes.
If I find a good use for it I'll let you know and report my findings.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 4:44PM
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shot(8 - GA)

I have some ryegrass on my place and the head appears something like oats. It comes out in the spring and is really nice. Cows love it too. Farmers plant winter rye (different thing) for winter grazing. It can get several feet tall and the head will have what we call a 'mustache' when it matures and then you cannot graze cows on it. When it is combined, the hay makes good cow feed whereas wheat makes straw hay and not good for feed.


    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 9:52PM
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vicki7(z7 N.Ga.)

My husband is an avid bird-lover and in the past some of the birdseed he bought sprouted up plants just like the ones you describe. I know that is no help in identifying it but it just rang a bell. It never became a pest or anything. I just let them stay awhile because they looked interesting, then pulled them up...

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 10:03AM
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I have the same grass you all are talking about, but its taken over my horse pasture and I cannot kill it. It can be toxic to horses and makes them gain too much weight. Its perennial, and perhaps RoundUp tolerant, so good luck!
My question to ANY of you, is if you planted Kentucky 31 and THIS STUFF came up instead? If so, where did you buy it?

    Bookmark   June 30, 2008 at 6:50PM
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