Grass ID


Well-Known Member
What is this grass in my fields that deer are browsing? They love the stuff and there is plenty to eat. Every clump I find they have been on it. Was going to spray it till I saw so much use.
^^^That's funny right there, and maybe so. But anyways I'll try this again. Should've ckd I guess. Hard to teach an old dogg new tricks.IMG_0034C.jpg
dogghr, that one will be hard (for me anyway) without close examination. Also, I wouldn't swear it's not a sedge rather than grass. Deer would browse either when young and tender. Maybe someone else can say for sure from that pic, but I can't.
Thanks Native I thot it was a sedge and had planned to do a spray till I noticed everywhere it was they had browsed it at exactly this height. Not sure I've ever noticed its browse in past but remember seeing some clumps in past years. The ones in middle of clover plot were the strangest to find.
Are the blades shaped like a v? (Cross section). If so its orchard grass. It's the only grass I have that deer like. I'm pretty sure that's what it is.
I think it does Massey. I'll have to ck or blow up this pic. I do have orchard grass a little. this stuff just in random clumps in this clover edge and in couple places in my fallow fields. thanks everyone, I'll try for better pic. I'm not much of a sprayer, just occassionally mow.
Looks like a sedge to me - if it is you will need a chemical specifically for sedges. The deer will eat anything that is young and tender but once it gets past that phase the deer ignore it....sedges (at least those I have) tend to like wet/damp areas (yellow nut sedge is what I have).
I was at the farm today...where we have more sedge than we need. A little bell went off that reminded me of this thread. I, too, have clumpy stuff, like in the picture...and, this, year, there's yellow nutsedge looks different than the clumpy stuff. I alway assumed the clumpy stuff was older and the fine, grass like sedge that's all over the place new? That's not a very elegant description. I'm having trouble getting myself to understand I have a camera that's also a phone. So, I started reading and the weeds book I have said sedge is proprogated by rhizome and tuber. Very little comes from seed. I killed the wispy stuff in the corn with gly. Does the heavier clumpy stuff grow off the tuber?
For something like that plant, which doesn't have an identifying feature that stands out strongly in some way (such as a particular bloom, fruit, etc.) I think we are fooling ourselves thinking we can ID it from a distant picture like that. There are just too many possibilities. It takes closer examination to determine what it really is.

And we don't have all the information - For instance, if he has or hasn't mowed this year makes a tremendous difference. If he hasn't mowed, there is no way that could be a clump of Orchard Grass, because we would be seeing tall stems and a spent seed head at this time of year. If it has been mowed then it becomes a possibility - but then we must ask ourselves how long ago and how low.... How much does a particular cool season grass rebound in the hot summer months.... Every question leads to another one.... Closer examination using identifying features (such as Massey mentioned) become the key to making a proper identification.

Without this, we may indeed guess at it and get it right, but we may indeed guess at it and be wrong. For me that isn't good enough. If something is worth knowing, it's worth accuracy.

Like J said, deer will browse a multitude of plants (including sedge and grass) when they are young and tender, but abandon them later.

There is one way you can know for sure what it is - put a cage around a clump and watch it for a whole year. The seed head and other identifying features will tell the tale. Orchard Grass gets taller than KY31 Fescue and makes a seed head about the same time. In fact, I think that is what you should do dogghr - cage it and report back when it becomes apparent what it is. It will become apparent given enough time to grow. Or, take close up, high quality pictures from different angles at key locations on the plant. That is the way the "experts" do it. But, even then, we still may have questions.
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If you are not much of a sprayer type person, spot spray the sedge with a gallon pump yard sprayer. There are several products on the market. Sedgehammer has a single packet pre measured, preloaded with surfactant that makes 1 gallon of product for $9.88 @ A couple products can be purchased at farm and fleet type stores ( Gordon's Trimec Nutsedge runs around $8-$9.). Some will come in a small spray bottle, but that may not be enough product. There are other products that can be ordered through websites like or A couple of the products need a surfactant added, some come preloaded with surfactant.
I'm not sure how much area you need to cover or how bad the problem is.
Agree NH. It could be one of a hundred different things. Only reason i threw out OG was its the only grass my deer like, it's very common in every field in Appalachia, and it's similar in appearance. Youre correct about timing though. It grows better in spring than summer.
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Agree NH. It could be one of a hundred different things. Only reason i threw out OG was its the only grass my deer like, it's very common in every field in Appalachia, and it's similar in appearance. Youre correct about timing though. It grows better in spring than summer.

I liked your idea of examining the blades. That is a good place to start.

As for grasses, I see very little use of any once they start maturing. But, I also have occasional cam pics of deer eating dried big bluestem in the winter. My main plot was a solid stand of Orchard Grass before I put the plots in. It was actually so pretty, I hated to kill it. I still see a little there and don't worry too much about it.

Timothy is another grass that some say deer eat well. I have some of it but really have never watched it.

There is one thing I can say I have learned from growing Timothy - it is much more persistent on my farm than what I have read about it. I'm not saying it is invasive, but it spreads and holds it ground much better than anyone would believe if all they had done was read literature about it.