I am new to this forum as I recently purchased a small acreage. I am interested in buying a pair of draft horses in the near future, but would like some advice on planning of pasture land. The property purchased was formerly an organic farm and is currently bare soil. It is fairly rocky but very fertile. I would like some advice on the best grass to plant for drafts to graze on in approximately 2-3 years, when I hope to be ready to purchase them. The size of planting area is about 5-6 acres.
Grass type will depend upon where you live. Soil type, annual rainfall, temps, stocking rate and seed selection (as well as how you apply the seed) will all affect the success of your pasture. Your best resource for this information is your country extension office. I would concentrate on getting rid of as much of the rock as you can first.
Thank you. I live in Central British Columbia, Canada. My property is at the base of mountains, made up of old organic riverbed soil, hence the rocks. The previous owners may have trucked in some soil as the gardens were certified organic. Our weather is strongly influenced by the west coast that is 3.5 hours away. We are a Zone 4, in terms of growing.
Welcome, Rocky Rd. I'm in Saskatchewan (so almost a neighbour).
For horses, we typically plant a mix of brome, timothy and alfalfa (proportional percentage wise: 70-20-10 or thereabouts). The timothy is good in areas where you have water sit as it can handle standing water for about a month where as the water would drown out the other plants. There's likely some species of grasses that are favoured by the locals in your area and the provincial agricultural rep (they're useful people to know) could fill you in on those. If you go their website, I suspect you should be able to get some information there. At one time the University of Saskatchewan had a publication on hay and pasture management - if you're lucky it may be on their web site.
It would be perfect for your pasture if you could let it grow for a couple of years before the horses come on. That lets the plants and root systems get well established so the grasses can better handle the activities of being eaten and walked on.
Thanks so much....I have been keeping a close eye on what people use in their pastures for grass, as there are numerous horse farms in my area, with one having four large Belgians in the field. It seems to be a mixture of grasses, like you spoke of. I am familiar with provincial agriculture people, and will contact our local office. I should have at least two years of growth before there is anything on it. There are numerous rocks that will need removal prior to seeding. Thanks again for all the information.
I will just say welcome to the forum
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