- May 9, 2017
- Reaction score
- Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
You are welcome. Range management/Rangeland Ecology and Management was my major as an undergrad and as a grad student.Thank you so much for this reply--it is VERY helpful!!!
Well... first figure out your goals.I've also been thinking a lot about what I want to have growing. Since we don't want to till anything up or poison what's already there (in the name of preserving the soil life), how do we encourage the "good" plants?
What do you want growing? Or, which animals do you want to encourage?
Once you figure out the plants that you want to encourage, you can better determine when the sheep should be moved into or out of a pasture.
Big blue stem is a bunch grass. It starts out as a clump, and as it increases in age the plant keeps growing bigger. Once it reaches a certain size the middle dies and the plant looks like a donut. This creates the ideal nesting location for ground nesting birds.
Big bluestem is a bit delicate in the sense that it shouldn't be grazed below 6 inches in height. If you watch the big bluestem, you want to put the sheep into graze when it is at boot stage(seeds are mostly developed but haven't yet emerged).
Big bluestem is a royal pain to get to grow from seed. You need a month of soft gentle sprinkles and cloud cover So, no reason to let it go to seed. Also, if you wait until after it has gone to seed then the grass isn't as palatable.
Fescue is a pain to get rid of, and is terrible for wildlife. If you have a section of it, till it up, let it start to green up (from all the rhizomes/plant parts) disc it, let it start to green up again, disk it again.... and maybe that is good enough and you can toss out seed.