Time to cut the grass again? Lawn mower out of
action? Borrow a goat. Yes, a goat. Not as neat as a lawn mower, granted,
but good enough for me. Cuts and
fertilizes at the same time. In one end, out the other. 'Cuts the grass
feeds the lawn.' So borrow a goat or – even better – get your own.
We have three goats ourselves and they do an excellent
job of keeping the
grass down, although they can be a trifle indiscriminate at times.
Biff and Nettle – a Toggenburg and two Saanens.
The front garden is well-fenced off and so that's where
we put them when the
grass needs cutting. They will eat everything of course, so first we cover
the bamboo, the clematis and the conifers with plastic bin liners. They're
not very good at a light trimming of course, big mouthfuls of grass from
centre of the lawn is more their thing, not good at neat edges where the
grass and the fence line meet, but in general they do a good job.You could
hang on to their back legs and hold them up, I suppose, direct the head
of thing, but I don't think this would really work, no, no, not really,
need a sheep for that, more manageable, smaller too, though hardly
behaviour, is it?
But if you do decide to go for the goat option, beware
Rhododendrons are poisonous to goats. Nettle ate a Rhododendron once, four
or five mouthfuls before we realised what was going on. She survived to
the tale, mind, but when we opened the goat shed the following morning we
discovered the true meaning of liquid manure and projectile vomiting. Not
pretty sight. Not nice for the other goats either. But if you're careful,
rhododendrons, cover your shrubs with bin bags, then a goat will save you
time and money in the long run. A good investment, you see, for there's no
petrol required, no servicing and no costly repair bills. Highly reliable
too, and certainly nothing that a journey in the back of the car to the
vet won't sort out. They'll chew the car seats perhaps, maybe even the
off the top of your head, but they don't mind a car journey at all.
Affectionate animals – environmentally friendly to boot. And let's not
forget those wonderful goat droppings for the compost heap.
Now while on this theme of grass cutting, I've often
wondered about those
houses with turf roofs – 'Eco-houses' (is that what they're called?). How
would you get a goat up there? Sheep are no good, are they? They'd fall
No, it has to be a goat, doesn't it? But how would you
get a goat on the
roof in the first place? Now there's a mystery.
(copy write Patrick Vickery 2002)