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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6795
Paul B



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 worn out pasture

This is more of a farming question than a tractor question, but I figure there is somebody out there who must know. I have about 4 acres of horse pasture which has been overgrazed for many years, and is now more weed than grass. How do I go about revitalising it? Is it enough to just spread seed all over and see what happens, or do I need to prepare the soil first? What is the best time of year to do this? I have a Kubota B1700, so I can buy or rent whatever attatchments might be needed.Thanks from my hungry horses,Paul






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6797
Foxbrook Farm



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 worn out pasture

Paul,I find that mowing to keep the weeds knocked down, and fertilizer works great. I would toss a little pasture grass out there too. The hard part is keeping the horses off it until it has a chance to grow up some. Spring or fall is the best time for this.






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6809
MichaelSnyder

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 worn out pasture

Paul,First, my horse lecture....."No more than 1 horse per every "good" acre of pasture!!!" Hopefully you don't fall into, what seems like 80-90% of the horse guys who have +6 horses in a 2 acre pasture. Then wonder why they quickly have 2 acres of dirt/weeds. Because you areasking the question, I am "assuming" you may not be clear as to the main reasons this probably happened in the first place. First mistake made withhorses, guys see 10 dairy cows in a small pasture, therefore 10 horses will work as well. NOT SO, the manner in which cows eat is differentfrom horses. Cows slide thier jaws sideways when they grass, similar to a pair of shears and/or grinder. Horses/sheep pull the grass, which means theroots will also be pulled out (sometimes). Cows generally walk around or lay in the shade so to speak. Horses on the other hand, tend to run/trot/canter around constantly, and usually in the same area. So, what does all this babble mean? First it means that unlike the local dairy farmer, you will need to attend to your pastures much more than he does. In that, I would recommend for you to overseed at least once a year in spring, and maybe again in fall. Most would say fall, but the problem with fall is that your horses will have your pastures turned into dirt by spring anyway. Secondly, I would recommend fertilizing. In your current situation, I would recommend starting over, to get rid of the weeds. This will obviously require you to keep the horses off that area for a while. Maybe you can section off small areas. Seems like a lot of work and expense, but short ofbuying more land, I think this is your only option. Oh, and the mention to constant mowing is good advise. Keeps the weeds from going into seed, and spreading around. Hope I didn't beat ya up too bad, Just trying to help. I'm sure many will advise otherwise. Keepus posted on your progress. :o)






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6811
Foxbrook Farm



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 worn out pasture

MLS-I agree completly with your comments...I didn't even think to bring the cow/horse info. Your right on the money...Also right on about too many people putting horses on too little ground!!! I have two horses on 6+ acres of ground...and with the lack of rain, I have nothing but dirt now!!






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6815
MichaelSnyder

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 worn out pasture

Paul,A few other things I forgot to mention. First, I would set the mower High. Your horses will easily eat the remaining height of the grass. You only need to control the "seed" part of the weeds. I'm guessing, 6"-8" or more in height would be good. Secondly, have your soil tested.. Two years ago, I found out that I was not only fertilizing my lawn with stuff the ground didn't need, but I was also throwing money away and not accomplishing what I set out to do. Lastly, buy an "appropriate" aireator. Our soil (E. PA) is best suited for the "coring" type, which removes plugs of soil that are about 1/2" in diameter. This not only allows additional air for the root system, but also allows rain to soak into the ground better, and lastly, it saves you money by helping to keep your fertilizer from becoming part of a thunderstorm or heavy rain run-off, and puts it where it belongs. Aireation will also allow grass seed to find loose soil in which to root itself. Instead of being eaten by birds or blown away by the wind. Good luck Paul






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6822
Steve Hansen



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 worn out pasture

Contact your county extension agent for advice specific to your location. He/she may be able to arrange a low cost or free soil test. If there is a farmer's coop in your area they may be able to give you advice and good prices on seed, lime, and fertilizer if required.






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 08-10-1999, 00:00 Post: 6826
Mike



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 worn out pasture

Probably the best thing you can do and has worked great for me with limited pasture--Is to build a paddock for your horses and only to allow them to graze maybe only a few hours in the morning and a few at night. Or if you work lock them up at night in the paddock and only allow daytime grazing. Horses do not need to be out on a pasture on a continue basis. They get unheathy fat and may founder. You can reseed in the spring useing a harrow to scratch the soil. Then apply seed and roll if you can. One word of caution about fertilizer and horses. Make sure you apply at no more than 180 lbs. per acre and it receives LOTS OF MOISTURE!! And keep them off the pasture for at least 4-6 weeks or more. This is because horses are prone to nitrate poisoning. Also high clipping for weed control is a good idea as the other posts stated.






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 08-11-1999, 00:00 Post: 6829
David



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 worn out pasture

I don't know what part of the country your in but here in South Texas we use alot of coastal bermuda for pasture and hay. You plant coastal in sprigs. For 4 acres you could sprig it by hand. Disc the field several times to kill all the weeds and other grasses (herbicide helps too) then plant the sprigs in 36" rows 36" apart, plant 24" and 24" if you want it to grow in quicker. You would plant in the spring to get as much rain as possible. Once the coastal is established all you need to do is keep it fertilized and areated and it will produce year after year. --Regards,David






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