Silage is composed of grasses that are cut when the moisture content of the plant is high and then stored for later use. The grasses ferment and are normally kept in a silo or stored in fields covered with plastic so that the silage is exposed to as little oxygen as possible. It is then fed to ruminants (animals that chew cud) like sheep and cows when there is no natural forage for them. Too much air causes the silage to spoil. Fermentation can take as little as two weeks.
Things You'll Need
- Garbage can High-quality plastic garbage bags Bagging lawnmower or rake
Drill several holes in the bottom of a garbage can. Put two garbage bags in the can, one inside the other.
Mow your lawn or cut your field early in the morning so the clippings are moist. Other plant material should be cut into pieces about 1/2 inch long.
Empty the contents of the mower bag into the garbage can, or rake the clippings and add them to the can.
Pack the contents of the can down tightly each time you add clippings. The easiest way to do this is to step into the garbage can and pack the clippings.
Close and tie the inner bag when the can is full. Then close and tie the outer bag. Dump the bags out of the can.
Stack the bags full of silage out of the sun until you're ready to use them.
Tips & Warnings
- Use high quality bags so they can be reused. Holes in the garbage can prevent a vacuum lock. Add nutritional value to the silage by putting a layer of grain or corn between each batch of clippings. Allow your animals to get used to the silage by feeding small amounts at first. This avoids gastrointestinal upset.
- Don't make silage out of clippings that have been sprayed with pesticides.
- Photo Credit The author