Brendasu
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Quick low growing non-toxic ??? needed

We put in a fence at the top of a hill to pasture our goats a few years ago. It's been slowly eroding in 2 areas, and well we didn't take care of it. We now have 2 places where there are 5 low areas under the fence. Total length approx 10 sporatic feet.

Today one of the kids was romping around outside the fence. The holes are big enough for an adult to squeeze under, and the great pyrenees too. They don't because of the electric at 18"-but the kids...well apparently they haven't gotten zapped yet.

We dumped some clay/sand mix along the fence today, but it will wash fairly quickly with spring rains if we don't get something growing. Grass will be kinda slow & always washes out more than it takes hold, been there done that. I have some low shrubs planted but not enough, plus they grow through the fence & hinder the electric fence.

Any suggestions? Strawberries? (have lots of those) Have rose of sharon volunteers but that won't be quick enough. I need something now, and worry about permanently holding it afterwards. Don't mind buying something either as the goats are worth more than anything I could buy. But what? Worried about a coyote nabbing one of the kids outside the dog's protection. It's a really steep hill.

Any ideas are welcome, non-toxic a must.
Brendasue

Susan W
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Where are you? If near me can give you a bunch of stuff that...grows...and grows!!! I spend more time cutting and whacking than growing.
Have fun!
Susan

Brendasu
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I am so sorry for not responding. I had Java issues & could not log into the forum for several days.

We are in CT.

Brendasue

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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Considering the time of the year, you probably want something that grows quickly in somewhat cooler weather for now, but is it sunny and dry later on?
My first thought was mint.

Another consideration, I suppose, is that although you don't want toxic, you don't want something that's attractive to the goats either.... :?

You could put in some brambles like raspberry or blackberry.

Both mint and brambles, I suppose folks who have them are clearing them away about now... I've tossed a bunch of mint already (it gets to the point where if I can't give them away conveniently, I'll just toss them. Washing and drying them seem like just too much work :roll:) I've been piling up unwanted bramble shoots behind the shed to hopefully discourage the groundHOG.

I know what you mean about strawberries and rose of sharon. Have both myself. Another nuisance is Jewelweed. Back in fall of 2008, I went to great length to collect 1/2 dozen seeds from a location where I saw the flowers blooming earlier. Scattered in my shade garden, those 1/2 dozen grew into gigiantic plants. My kids (children :wink:) gleefully popped the seeds last fall, and now I have a carpet of seedlings. :shock:
(ETA: Note I'm not recommending Jewelweed -- I've no idea re: toxicity to goats -- just telling an associated story that came to me. 8))

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rainbowgardener
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non-toxic ground covers

The non-toxic is a little limiting... it's surprising how many plants can be toxic to animals if eaten -- and of course goats are famous for eating everything!

Here's a few thoughts - creeping thyme, liriope (lilyturf), ajuga (carpet bugle, bugle weed). All are hardy, fast spreading, non-toxic.

Toxic fast -spreading ground covers to avoid: lily of the valley, juniper, bishop's weed.
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applestar
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Location: Zone 6, NJ (3/M)4/E ~ 10/M

Came back to say that just as I was logging out, I saw you said "low growing" -- but then, *you* mentioned Rose of Sharon so I guess I got thrown off the track. I'm assuming height requirement is because of the 18"H electric that you don't want the foliage to touch? But I suppose you mow underneath.

Yarrow is one other that I thought of. All of these, I'm supposing that you're going to transplant grown plants. A piece of sod would be just as easy.

If you're planting from seed, I was thinking you could use a gardener's trick to mix in some radish seeds, which will come up quickly and establish long roots while the slower seeds are coming along.

Anything you put there, though, I'm afraid that the goats will think you planted for them! They're already used to going up there....

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