Canary Grass?

canary grass

CANARY GRASS Phalaris arundinacea L.
Canary Grass (Variety Reed most popular) is a cool season perennial that grows best on wet land. It is a sod forming grass that produces a coarse leafy grass of 2 to 8 feet in height. Spreads from roots and seeds and provides a dense root mat in soil.
I wonder if this would work in cob or straw bale buildings. The reason I’ve been wondering is because a neighbor / farmer has a bunch of tightly compressed bales. It sounds like it is fairly rot resistant and plentiful.
Would it be suitable for use in a straw bale house? I guess it would be a canary-reed-bale house wouldn’t it.
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One Comment

  • kyle yoder says:

    i bale hay as a supplemental job, so i’ll provide a little input here.

    i’m not an expert, but i don’t know why canary grass bales wouldn’t work as well as straw. when the grass is very mature, then cut, then dried, i would imagine that it would be resistant to rot. it is very dry and brittle and unlike true hay (alfalfa, clover) which retains a lot more moisture and nutrients that would allow rot.

    the big reason why i don’t believe this would be practical is the availability of canary grass bales. most canary grasses don’t provide great nutritional value for livestock. they also grow in very wet places that are sometimes difficult to navigate with a tractor and baler. canary grass is also very thick, and so it doesn’t bale up as nicely as other hay (the windrows are very large so it doesn’t dry evenly and plugs up the baler).

    if you wanted to specifically bale canary grass for a house, then it might work. but i would imagine it would almost always be cheaper and easier to just buy straw.