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BoldComic 05-07-2013 10:25 AM

aerating pastures?
My grandfather has 10 acres of pasture that we have our horses on. Each year the grass recedes back a little farther leaving more and more "just dirt" area. It was always that way in front of the feeders or where they pace the fence but it's getting worse. Would plug aerating the pastures help? There are fewer horses on the property now than there have been for the last 30 years so that's not the problem. We also rotate the pastures and always have one empty so it can rest and grow up a little.

stevenson 05-07-2013 08:23 PM

are the current horses really pawing, and rolling in that area? Is it an irrigated pasture ? When was the last time it was reseeded ? Depending on the grass type, it could just be reaching the natural die off . If the grass is to thin, they will overgraze that area causing it to erode. We will harrow our pastures to break up manure clumps, and mow them to control the weeds. And even though I have a large seperate fenced dirt area with the water and hay feeder, they have some spots they wear down to dirt.

waresbear 05-07-2013 08:30 PM

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Aerating pastures does help it grow, especially if the ground is very tight & hard. But.....if grass has died back and you aerate, oportunistic weeds will take over, grass generally needs to be seeded.

BoldComic 05-07-2013 08:51 PM

The rolling/pawing hasn't increased, if anything it has decreased due to less horses. Yes they are irrigated.

So I'm guessing re seed at this point. I'm pretty sure that hasn't been done in the 7 years I've lived here in the valley.

Also they are pretty dang hard packed so maybe aerating too? Seed first or aerate first? Should I do one this year spring and one this fall? Grandpa used to keep up on things really well but has developed alzheimer's and isn't able to keep up or offer much advice. I want to keep the place looking and running good for him since his property was such a source of pride for him for so many years. Thanks for the help guys. Any other suggestions feel free to let me know.

waresbear 05-07-2013 08:56 PM

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If the ground is hard, you have to plow, I know, it sucks. Plowing & reseeding our pastures this after a decade or so, thing I hate is how I picked up a gazillion rocks & boulders back then, them suckers all grew back!

Saddlebag 05-07-2013 09:04 PM

I drag an old set of harrows with a tire for weight and go over most of the pasture with it. I may toss a few pounds of timothy downwind as I go. The harrows make little trenches that catch some of the seed. Usually this is done in the spring while the ground is moist. If you have some push in rods or steel rods with electric ribbon or wire and place them in the area where they've run the fence. This will give that area a chance to grow altho you'll have to keep them off at least until fall.

BoldComic 05-11-2013 11:38 PM

I think grandpa would have a heart attack if we plowed his pastures. I would be all for it (doing one a year in rotation) but I don't think he'd stand for it. Too bad because I bet they'd be a lot better off.

A harrow I could probably get away with though. I may try that. Thanks.

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