Baymule

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For a few very short months in early spring , I can have lush green pasture. It’s the rest of the year I’m working on. I can easily establish clovers and fescue, but it goes away when the heat hits.

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Most hay here is Bermuda and there is no Bermuda seed in it. I paid $289 for 25 pounds of giant Bermuda and have two small pastures that now has giant Bermuda established. I conditioned the soil with Cornish Cross raised in a chicken tractor. I spread sheep hay for the humus. Come spring, I will sow Bahia seed, cost over $350 for 50 pounds of seed. Twice I bought Bahia hay and spread it on the pipeline and got not one seed to come up. So I will suck it up and buy the seed. In the meantime, this winter we will be working on preparing the soil for planting.
 

Beekissed

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I wonder if you'd strip graze that beautiful pasture if you'd get more bang for your buck and also lay down some carbon on the soil to sequester your water so your pasture would better survive the heat. Plus, it could very well encourage your native warm season grasses to come up and sustain you through those hot seasons. Would be worth trying!
 

Baymule

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Most of the native grasses won't stand up to hard grazing and need a longer rest period than what I can give it. Bermuda and Bahia are tough grasses that form a dense sod, grow back quickly-if there is enough rain- and can take the heat.
 

Baymule

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We did a pasture walk yesterday and clover is popping up in Pasture #1,2, the pipeline and our yard. I sowed clover 2 years ago and it is not only coming back, it is spreading. :celebrate We also dug out the dead sheep hay where the round bale fits under the roof and spread it on pasture #1 in bare areas. The log piles we made and the piles of branches we did are now covered in a foot or two of hay and sheep poop that I had piled up to compost. We still have to move the rest of the hay/poop pile, will take it to the newly cleared/mulched horse pasture and start spreading it there.

The round bales we buy are second cut, but still have a little clover and rye grass in them.

I missed sowing crimson clover and rye grass seed in pasture #3 (the small side pasture we cleared this summer) yesterday evening, right before a hard rain which would have beaten the seed into the dirt. We had company stop by, I was canning chicken broth and just ran out of daylight before I ran out of want to do...… Supposed to be a good chance of rain Thursday and Friday, so need to get the seed sowed. I sowed giant Bermuda there in the spring and watered it through the drought. Have never sowed winter grass there, as it was all green briar and saplings.

We need to run cow panels behind the sheep barn, giving them a little of this pasture for the room to move around. going to expand the sheep lot in front of the barn too. I love cow panels. they allow me to build pens, move them, take them down, see what works and what doesn't.
 

Beekissed

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I love CPs too! So versatile and sturdy. Sounds like you are getting a good start on some pasture, Bay....that must feel so very good! Are the grasses and such you've planted native to your area? Those pics of the sheep in chest high clover were just lovely to see!

I've been traipsing our woods, picking out things that need cut out, planning where the fencing should go, etc. Pasture on the mind all the time now....weird, but now all I see is potential for pasture. This all started out as getting some renewable lawn mowers and has bounced into establishing a little farmette. Never dreamed of such a thing on this land.
 

Baymule

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Bahia is native to South America, it was brought to the USA in 1914 because it withstands heat and hard grazing.

Bermuda grass originates from Africa and India. It is called Bermuda here because it came to us by way of Bermuda. It was established in the USA prior to 1807.

So no, they are not native in the true sense of the word. True native grasses must have a long rest period. We only have 8 acres split between 4 horses (moneypit) 10 ewes, 1 ram and assorted lambs. I don't have 60-90 days to leave a pasture empty. I will pen them up now to let the winter grass/clovers grow. So they will eat hay, the dead hay gets spread to replenish the soil, and so the cycle goes.

We will be working on the horse pasture this winter, I am excited to have more pasture space!
 
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