Growing and sowing new pasture
My childhood dream of moving out into the country is finally coming true... 10 year late, but its still happening. I'm moving with my parents to a little house on 6 acres in November. I have been working with and around horses for 10 years, but I have never had the joys of creating my own pasture before.
Now I don't have horses at the moment, but I do want to set up 2 separate horse pastures. My goal is to be able to rotate the pastures, which will be 1-2 acres each. I'm going to take my time and not rush the process, but I really have no idea where to start.
I know I need to get rid of the rocks, trees, and cactus, create the ideal fencing, and watch and get rid of seasonal weeds. I just don't know what I need to lay down seed/hay/grass type wise. Plus the big question is there anything else I'm missing?
I am not bring horses here until this place is perfect, and I'm clearing and doing this all by hand. Which means I'm giving myself a year or so to do all.
I just wanted to see what advice, tips, and tricks y'all could tell me.
BTW the land is mid Texas around San Antonio and Austin. And the picture below is a part of where I want a pasture to go.
Thanks in advance :D
Thats so cool!
The first thing id say you needed would be a good tractor!
Youll need it to move the rocks and clear the land for pasture.
then youll need it to dig your post holes (or you can do it by hand)
youll need to get a soil sample sent in to measure the ph ballance of your soil nutrient levels etcetra so youll know what kinds of things that need added- then you can go and disk the land and then you sow the seed and add your fertilizers and such.
for the weed controll youll need to keep the pastures trimmed down low enough for them to graze but not have weeds grow-- youll also nee to be able to drag the manure to keep the parasites down- and they wont eat grass where they poop so youll have to kinda make them by dragging or youll have big ol grassy areas and eaten down areas.
when we rotate pastures we keep them in one for a week then switch clean up the manure in the old pasture manage the growth and let it recover then repeat.
Translates to: I'll be working forever, get really strong, and never have horese. lol I've never seen a horse property that was "perfect" especially not one that was done by one person, by hand.
My opinion of "Weeds" is something that a horse cannot eat, like buttercups, or black berries (the 2 problems in my neck of the woods)
While dandilions, clover & carary/reed grass are all "weeds" in a lawn, I find them to be perfect in a pasture. The horses like them. I see no sense in removing them (though I do plan to drop new seed this fall if we can afford it).
If you have a shelter for them, and a good fence, then that's a great start.
If you need help identifying any poisionus plants, you can call the department of Ag, and somebody would be more than likely to come out & assist you. I had somebody out recently, and it was free.
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