reseeding pasture

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RebelsHope

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Hey all. Last fall we bought a nice little piece of property with about 4 acres. About 1 1/2 is pasture for the horses. I have five little ones, so during the summer, with rotation that should be enough. My problem is that a LOT of it is in weeds and the rest is now over grazed. I have moved the little ones to a dry lot and then have an eletric fence I set up in the yard for them so they "mow" the grass. I move it about every two or three days. I am not going to turn them back out into the horse pasture for the rest of the year I think, to let it rest and let the little bit of grass that is in there grow and I am mowing down the weeds. Should i reseed the really weedy places or just keep it mowed and let the grass take over again? If I reseed to I just lay seed down, do I have to break up the ground first? What about putting straw over the new seeds? Anyone have exerpience with this?
 

Marsha Cassada

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Our experience in our prairie pasture, is that just mowing will do the trick, as the native grasses will move in pretty quickly. If it is overgrazed, though, you will only have weeds, as the hroses will eat the good stuff and leave the bad. Your local extension office (look under County listings) will have information on how long pasture needs to rest between grazing times in order for grass to recover. They will also help you figure out what grasses to seed, if you deicde to go that route. Good luck!

Marsha in Oklahoma
 

justaboutgeese

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If you spray with 2-4-D you can kill the broad leaf weeds and the grasses will take over. I think it might be a bit late in the season for doing it this year as probably most of them have gone past the seed stage by now. But used early in the spring you will have amazing results. A big plus is that for small acerage like that you will not have to invest much in the project and will not have the hassle of cultivating and reseeding.
 

ChrystalPaths

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Our pastures are dust bowls, well they were until all this rain. All that is left is weeds. I am considering using an orchard grass seed for 2 of the 4 as they are literally ruined. I plan to wait until March or so and get it down into the soil with the 4 wheeler and then when things warm up hopefully some grass will grow. I like my poor pasures. I never have to worry about founder or overeating but there really is nothing left for them this year.
 

RebelsHope

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Thanks everyone. I had a small dry paddock before and never worried about letting the grass grow. I feed hay and grain still, but just enjoy seeing them out on grass too. I also just hate seeing all those weeds. I know they enjoy it. Late this year I also discovered that I have a crabapple tree. It got all wormy this year because we didn't know it would produce fruit. I look forward to taking care of that next year too to give them some apple now and again.
 

Marnie

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How long do you have to keep the horses off of it if you use that spray 2-4-D?
 

coopermini

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If you have enough grass to get growing if you got rid of the weeds fertilizer works wonders.. Weeds (most weeds) do not grow well with a good fertilzer program and do not tollerate competition from established grasses/ legumes.Also rotating paddocks to allow the grass to grow and get better established. Lot like growing a tall lawn.

Mark

Checking with Cooperative Extension is a great place to start.
 

Bess Kelly

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I use 2,4D and like to keep them off 4-7 days. The instructions do not say this amount of time is necessary but, I do this anyway. Really strange but as it rains the weeds that are affected by this product appear to then die faster
like they had been re treated. Then, they just disappear. Good stuff!n I've used it for years and have a pull behind sprayer (30 gal). But for yards and acre sized areas you can use one of the adjustable container/mixers that hook to a hose. Just a thought for those who have small areas. Also, any spray container of a couple gallons works for spot areas. Thoughts for those of you with 1-2 acres to do. Keeping the grass cut certainly helps but sometimes you need a little more.
 

Loess Hills

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We fertilize in the early spring, spray in the summer, and do some mowing in the late summer if the weeds are still coming back. We have divided and fenced about five acres into different pastures so we can move the horses into different areas as they are sprayed. Usually we will keep the horses off the sprayed area about 10 days, or less if we have several rains.

In the late spring the grass is so rich that their time in pasture is limited, and they are on dry lot. Oh, forgot to say that during the winter when there is snow cover we will throw out seed by hand. As subsequent layers of snow cover the seed, it will stay dormant, then warmth in the spring will melt the snow, provide moisture for the seed, and voila! it will grow during the summer.

We also reseeded one of the small pastures when we had an earthmover scrape off the soil and deposit it in another area. After reseeding that fall the weather was so fickle, extremely dry, and we wondered if the seed would ever germinate. It did come in thinly in the spring, but it took about three years for it to get fully established. Remember that old adage about planting? The first year they sleep, the second year they creep, and the third year they leap.

Maintenance is the key to developing a good pasture! Best of luck with your efforts, it will be worth the work in the end.

Here's a picture of our north pasture:

 
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bob r

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we use grazeon" which is a 2-4-d + and extra additive which you have to have a license to buy it, but we have used it for years and you only have to keep your horses off it for 24 hrs. about reseeding, this time of year i buy "pasture mix" which contains wheat and rye, i sow it with a pasture drill but if you don't have one, use a disk to break up the ground a bit or anything that would make the ground a little rough and the wheat and rye will grow until about next may when the burmuda grass starts growing good. around here in okla. pasture mix is about 5.50 per 50 pounds. we also will plant marshall rye in some pastures but it's 24.50 per 50 pds.
 

RebelsHope

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All I have a lawn mower right now. I was thinking about getting a harrow to help, but I am not sure what to look for or how much to pay. There is still grass out there, it was really thick at one end of the pastures. I am not sure why the horses don't eat down there as much, I know they have the places the poop, but this is like half the pasture. I have the 1 1/2 acres in three parts. Two fairly large pastures and 1 small dry lot. Half the pastures are sparse, there is grass but also lots of dirt. LOL I think I will try the snow and seed. Maybe throw some seed down now, or in the really weedy parts. Now that I have mowed, the earth is bare there.
 

Bluerocket

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RebelsHope said:
There is still grass out there, it was really thick at one end of the pastures. I am not sure why the horses don't eat down there as much, I know they have the places the poop, but this is like half the pasture.
I have the 1 1/2 acres in three parts. Two fairly large pastures and 1 small dry lot. Half the pastures are sparse, there is grass but also lots of dirt.

LOL I think I will try the snow and seed. Maybe throw some seed down now, or in the really weedy parts. Now that I have mowed, the earth is bare there.

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I have found that given a choice.. the horses eat the grass they LIKE firstand leave the "ok" stuff for when they have no other choice.


You can sow some seed now in the "bare spots" --- first.. water that area with a sprinkler for about 30 minutes... spread some fertilizer and then scatter the seeds --- top it with a scattering of hay or straw -- and then water again for about 30 minutes for two more days..

You can buy a small seed, fertilizer, lime spreader fairly cheaply at Walmart, Lowes, Homedepot, Kmart etc.. be sure and follow the directions on setting the spreader to spread the right amount.

The fertilizer I bought for doing this.. is for re-seeding or establishing new turf.. I think it suggested 3-6 weeks before mowing the first time.. I am planning on 3 weeks minimum before I let the horses back on it.

I also plan to do this in February (right before our spring that starts in early in March).. without the watering part.. I will lime, fertilize and seed and cover bare spots .. covering with hay/straw... to protect the seeds from the birds.

Good luck!

JJay
 

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