Alright all you pasture growing experts... - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Alright all you pasture growing experts...

Help me out! LoL. I have approximately 4 acres fenced into 4 sections. One section, my horses are on all the time. Grass doesn't grow here, they eat it before it even thinks about popping up. The section behind that I let grow for about 2 weeks, then put them out on it for about 4 days, then close it back off so it can grow again.

The other 2 sections, my horses have not been on at all this year. Grass started growing in March. There are areas where the grass is thick and lush with clover, and other areas are nearly bare. The area's that have really great growth are the areas that the horses have pooped in the past. And of course, they don't like to eat out of those areas. They prefer the very short areas and ruin the roots.

Also, I've noticed there is some type of moss growing along the fence lines. All the way around the pasture.

We have spread grass seed over the pasture, and then kept the horses off of it, but the grass doesn't take off. What do I need to put on the pasture to ensure good, even growth of grass/clover mix? We've also used a liquid fertilizer over the whole thing and didn't notice a difference. There are weeds through it, but not as many as their used to be. We used a weed killer a few years ago.

Anyway, here are pictures. Hopefully someone has some ideas. In the pictures you can tell a major difference where the grass is growing very well, and where it's ummm....not.

It's so annoying because we cut part of our pasture out and took the fence down. Now we mow in that area, and the grass is all nice and even and if I don't mow for a few weeks, It's above my ankles! Why can't my pasture be like that?!?!

Darn horses...
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 05:24 PM
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it's being over grazed if they are destroying the roots and you have 1/4th of bare dirt. How many horses ? Mayb more hay. Horses seem to poop where there is weeds they don't like, It gets fertile eventually but seems to never really do good.
Milstone will kill most of your weeds, 24d works ok in the spring. You didnt mention what kinda seed. Lots of different types. In my area we have a chain of feed and seeds called southern states. They sell soil sample kits. Only about $9 with the mailer. You put some dirt in mail it off. See what they say. Way better than dumping fertilzer that you may or may not need.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 05:59 PM
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Your pasture looks a lot like sections of mine.

I will be fencing them off of the bad areas, aerating, dethatching, killing weeds, fertilizing (if needed), scruffing up the dirt, and re-seeding.. I know that aerating and dethatching helps with yards, so I can imagine it will help with the pasture. Not sure what kind of weed killer I'm going to use or what I'm going to plant it with yet but will let you know what I find out.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 06:24 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
it's being over grazed if they are destroying the roots and you have 1/4th of bare dirt. How many horses ? Mayb more hay. Horses seem to poop where there is weeds they don't like, It gets fertile eventually but seems to never really do good.
Milstone will kill most of your weeds, 24d works ok in the spring. You didnt mention what kinda seed. Lots of different types. In my area we have a chain of feed and seeds called southern states. They sell soil sample kits. Only about $9 with the mailer. You put some dirt in mail it off. See what they say. Way better than dumping fertilzer that you may or may not need.
There are usually 3 horses. This year it's 4. I've been supplementing hay since I'm keeping them off most of the pasture and they need something to munch on. But when I open up a new section, they won't eat the hay. They won't even come up from that section unless I make them.

Good idea with the soil kit.

I used a pasture mix seed. Not sure specifically what was in it. They sell it at TSC.

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with
him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

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post #5 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 06:28 PM
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I'm pretty much an expert. Look at my lush WY pasture!
Sundance and Justin.jpg
Seriously, shoot me now!
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 06:34 PM
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Get soil tests, it is the only way not to waste your money with trial and error. Weeds will grow because the soil is no good for the types of grass. Around where I live if the soil gets acidic and grass doesn't grow well, mosses will take over as well as buttercups. Heavily lime it, they disappear. Your at the point where what MN Trigerstripes said is true, you'll have to start over pretty much, even plowing it over, fertilizing and reseeding might be for the best.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 06:51 PM Thread Starter
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I have a large tractor with roe-tiller that's about 42 inches wide. If I were to start over, should I do it this fall when the pasture is eaten down and dying? Or next spring?
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-02-2012, 07:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN Tigerstripes View Post
Your pasture looks a lot like sections of mine.

I will be fencing them off of the bad areas, aerating, dethatching, killing weeds, fertilizing (if needed), scruffing up the dirt, and re-seeding.. I know that aerating and dethatching helps with yards, so I can imagine it will help with the pasture. Not sure what kind of weed killer I'm going to use or what I'm going to plant it with yet but will let you know what I find out.
I've been thinking about just roe-tilling up different quadrants and starting form scratch...I guess I was hoping for an easy fix...

"The greatest pleasure of a dog is that you may make a fool of yourself with
him and not only will he not scold you, but he will make a fool of himself too."

-Samuel Butler
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-03-2012, 08:57 AM
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I was too, believe me. Probably about a quarter-third of my 2 acre pasture is all mossy and full of buttercups. It also includes the ONLY area in the pasture they get any shelter... So yeah.. I've tried just fertilizer and weed killer for the last 3 (?) or so years to no effect, so I guess it's time to pull out the big guns.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-03-2012, 09:09 AM
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You could haul them south to help eat mine down

I'm not a pasture expert and rely on good professional advice to maintain mine. I'd start with your local ag extension agent. They can do soil testing (usually at a very reasonable rate) and can help you determine what needs done.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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