Rushes must be controlled or they can overrun grasslands. According to the Suffolk Wildlife Trust, rushes can be soft or hard weeds that grow in the wild. The weeds provide natural cover for wild birds and can grow in dry or moist areas. Rushes typically grow in environments with low pH levels. Reducing or eliminating rushes is necessary to keep grasslands healthy and prevent the unnecessary creation of shelter for dangerous wild animals.
Cut the rushes. Identify the area of grasslands with rushes; if two-thirds or more of area is covered with rushes, it is time to cut. Use a tractor-mounted cutter to mow and destroy rushes. Cut rushes only between July 15 and the end of July. Trimming rushes too soon may result in the killing of nesting birds, while cutting in the latter half of July makes it an ideal time to uproot the rushes just before they bloom. Always leave at least one-tenth of your grassland rushes intact to provide nesting birds a natural habitat.
Apply herbicides. Spray an herbicide such as Clopyraid to eliminate large areas of hard thistle. Put on gloves and provide a spot-herbicide treatment to smaller areas. Rub the herbicide directly onto the stem and bud of each plant between May and July.
Let goats graze. Place goats in areas where rushes grow. Goats naturally eat thistle and other rushes. Place the goats on the grasslands after they have been cut to reduce the odds of returning rushes.