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Making A Pasture

Discussion in 'Pasture, Hay, & Forages: Information & Management' started by Baymule, Aug 18, 2017.

  1. Jun 25, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I have baby grass pictures of what will be pasture #3. It is patchy, but this grass grows fast. It is ready for fertilizer now, gotta go get some.

    It’s from 1-3” tall now.

    ADE997A3-4F40-43EC-B125-E9A8558251DD.jpeg

    Look @CntryBoy777 its grass now!

    F8AC6071-2F24-48E1-9FF1-A6F6D58E7CB1.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2019
  2. Jun 25, 2019
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    Beats sprigging it, doesn't it?....looking really Good Bay!!....it won't be too long before it will fill in and be very productive for ya....and a "belly filler" for the sheep, chickens, and horses.....:)
     
    Baymule and B&B Happy goats like this.
  3. Jun 25, 2019
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Herd Master

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    You mentioned going and getting fertilizer. Are there no places that you can get manure from a farm of some sort? What about a poultry house/broiler/turkey operation? A dairy farm? Someone with horses that are stalled? Around here there are people giving away manure piles just to get them moved. Especially people with horses. We do buy some commercial fertilizer, mostly nitrogen, for the hay fields. And we will supplement with needed nutrients after a soil test. But everything else is poultry litter, and a place that gives us horse manure that is mixed with shavings/straw. You can pile it to compost down, or just spread and the soil organisms will break it down. Anything organic that will break down. I use our feed bags inbetween rows in the garden because they do not have a plastic liner. Newspapers, cardboard, junk mail that is shredded for the chicken house mixed with their shavings. Sheep manure mixed with bedding. Leaves in the fall. Oak and others need to have lime added as they are more acidic. DO NOT USE WALNUT, they have a toxin that will kill plants. Just like you cannot get plants to grow within a certain radius of their tree trunks/root systems. Most commercial fertilizers are petroleum based... just throwing that out there. Compost everything from the house and add to a pile of leaves. Grass clippings. But realize too that I do not live in Texas and don't know the soil and the climate. Could be the sun and heat "burns up" the organic matter.
     
  4. Jun 25, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    @farmerjan I agree with everything you said. I am raising Cornish Cross chickens in that pasture at the moment. I move their tractor every other day and bed them on hay. There are hay/poop pads behind where I stood to take that picture. When they are all slaughtered, I'll scatter seed there too. I have horses and use their compost, I use the sheep compost and spread the dead hay they pee and poop on. I use cardboard and paper feed sacks in the garden also. As far as the fertilizer, that is something that I never use, but I'm going to spread some on the new grass to give it a jump start. Not going overboard on it, just a scattering.

    I have a patch that we are working on the pipeline. I ran the disc over that patch, DH spread 3 year old wood chip mulch. Next will be to disc that in, then plant seed. When it dries up enough to get the tractor over the gulley, we'll do the other side. I'm trying to get some giant Bermuda established in each pasture, the seed is almost $12 a pound. I planted some years ago, on other property and it did well.

    Our soil is sand, white sand like a Florida beach. I planted grass seed the first year here. It came up, the sun came out and scorched the sand, which in turn burnt the new grass roots and it all died. We have planted rye grass every fall, white ball clover and crimson clover. We let the sheep graze it then mow the stubble to add more humus to the soil.
     
  5. Jun 26, 2019
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Herd Master

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    I was pretty sure you were doing all the "organic" recycling etc., so the comment about the fertilizer threw me. And that said, there is nothing wrong with "feeding your plants" in some manner. I had forgotten that you had "sand" for soil. Yes, it will not hold enough moisture and plants that are not kept watered will just dry up. Clovers will grow deeper roots and alfalfa can put down roots that are 5 to as much as 20 feet deep. Normal is 3-6 feet but that is still substantial. It seems to me that I did read somewhere that in Florida, that the organic matter actually "burnt up" in sandy soil when it got too dried out.
    Have you ever thought about asking your nearest town if they collect fall leaves from "curbside" and if you could pick them up from them? Even up here I used to pick up leaves in the fall that were put out in bags, and I have picked up grass clippings in the summer. The thing to do with the grass clippings is to use as mulch ON TOP OF BAGS in the garden in case there is any chemicals so that it dissipates, or to compost completely. Many herbicides used on grass have a "shelf life" so to speak on the grass, and break down after a certain period of time. Then the compost is okay. If it will support earthworms, it usually will support anything you mulch it with. Worms don't like the chemicals either and will often avoid the lawns where they are used. I cannot imagine having soil that is so sandy. Here we have several different types, and there is very shallow soil cover in many places due to the ledge and rocks. We try to put our rolls of hay on rocky spots so that the cows eat/waste/and add plenty of manure to those spots. It helps build it up fast. You might try some farms that have hay that got wet and moldy. Even hauling home a big bale of "crap hay" will add organic matter as you know.
     
  6. Jun 26, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    One year we got 50 square bales for $1 a bale, it was fresh cut unfertilized Bahia. We used the section to lay a series of baffles across the pipeline to check erosion.

    Yes, I am as organic as I can be, but I need to jump start this Bermuda so it can get firmly established.

    I grab bags of leaves every fall and dump them in the chicken coop and run. They compost it for me.

    This is a strip I sowed seed on in pasture #1. Last year I raised CCX chickens on this strip, moving their coop. Then we took the waste hay around the Sheep round bale and spread it. Rye, clovers, and Kentucky 32 fescue came up this spring. The Sheep ate it until it was gone. Then I limed it,dragged the disc and sowed giant Bermuda. It is looking good so far!

    EF408EE5-9CB5-4432-804A-AD7EF7DC9307.jpeg

    I finally got the ok from my husband to cut more trees in this pasture and open it up to more sunlight. Our hay guy wants a Cornish Cross chicken, dressed, and he’s going to cut the trees! I’ll take that deal!

    I have sowed seed where I’ll get the most bang for my bucks. I am sticking to sunny spots and figure if the grass wants to grow in shade, it can put out runners and get there itself. LOL
     
  7. Jun 26, 2019
    Bruce

    Bruce Herd Master

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    Sounds like you are getting a good deal!
     
  8. Jun 26, 2019
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 Herd Master

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    Sounds alot like our plan here, most of the smaller trees will be taken down and starting to research grasses for here....and sow a couple of varieties and see if we can get enough light in for at least one to grow some in the shade.....gonna put some shade gardens in with ornamental gingers, peace lillies, and such....will be working on a garden area too....nothing better than fresh veggies....:)
     
  9. Jun 26, 2019
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Herd Master

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    You can really tell that you improved the soil there with the chicken tractor and the hay etc. Yep, you know what you are doing to get the best out of it.
     
  10. Jun 27, 2019
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    I'm working at it. I appreciate your input and respect your lifetime of experience, so jump in any time with advice on how to make it better. Our best pasture is #2 where we raised pigs twice. The pigs rototilled and pooped and vastly improved the soil. But I finally built a nice hog pen and shelter so they wouldn't dig up the grass. We sprigged Bermuda that we dug up on the roadside, there is a nice pasture across the road from us.