Weeds control before grass seed - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 06-02-2020, 08:17 PM Thread Starter
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Weeds control before grass seed

Hi All,
We are getting a 3 acre plot ready to put a couple horses on. We just cleared all of the land of all small trees, and cleared most of the vines left in the ground.

Now that it is bare dirt, we have a had a few small patches of weeds pop up. We want to plant grass in the next week or so, and expect to have horses on the property by mid July or early August.

What are my options to remove these weeds? Can I use any herbicides on them? Or should I just rototill and rake up the roots?


Thank you!
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post #2 of 10 Old 06-02-2020, 08:25 PM
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I would either turn it under or go out with shovel and dig up the weeds and dispose of them.
I was under the impression that applying a herbicide will stop germination of all seeds and you will end up with patches of no grass for a long time.
Once you have established grass mowing/bushhogging is one of the best weed deterents there is...grass will choke out most weed if you give it a chance...but you have to stay on top of it.
Don't cut shorter than 5" or the horses truly have difficulty getting enough to grab, tear, eat and enough nutrition from.

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post #3 of 10 Old 06-02-2020, 10:08 PM
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If you want a good stand of grass you should fertilize , harrow the ground or lightly disc, plant then let it grow for a full season to get a root system established. In September fertilize again and next spring you'll have a good stand that the horses won't pull out by the roots. The fertilizer will do wonders toward choking the weeds out. A good fertilized pasture grass will choke weeds out on it's own.
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post #4 of 10 Old 06-02-2020, 10:10 PM
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Keeping it mowed I set my mower deck to cut it 3 inch's. My horses graze it more uniform, if kept under 5 inches tall.

But I have 10 Acres cross fenced into 5 acre sections. I rotate horses from one section when eaten down,to other section. About a month on each 5 acre pasture.
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post #5 of 10 Old 06-03-2020, 07:34 AM
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Either dig up or spray the weeds.

I fully agree with ksbowman, the grass needs to be allowed to establish for best part of the year before having horses on it. The root system will not be anywhere near established in your time span and all that will happen is that the horses will pullmup the roots and trample it into the ground somyou will end up with a filed of weeds.
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post #6 of 10 Old 06-03-2020, 10:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you for all of the responses.
We are going to get grass seed down this weekend. Maybe we will push the horses arrival into September so they will grass will have at least two+ straight months of untouched growing.
I do know if I did hit it with roundup, I would not be able to put grass seed in that area for at least 3-4 weeks.

Thank you !
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post #7 of 10 Old 06-04-2020, 11:13 AM
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Establishing pasture is not a short term activity. Ideally you would do 6 months to a year of just weed control before seeding and then once seeded a minimum of one season (at least three months) before just turning the horses out for a couple of days after mowed to a height they will graze - where they graze then you mow if anything else comes up. Then allow another several weeks before repeating. So mow to horse favored height, graze very short term mow what they don't eat along with the rest to recommended. lather rinse repeat. So much easier just to keep them off for a year and you mow and maintain so roots can establish and residual weeds can be controlled.



Cool season grasses, you can allow less time as you are not using as a permanent pasture and you know you will be reseeding. I don't remember if you are north where you have summer grass (spring, summer, fall) and then snow or you are further south where you have have permanent pasture and overseed for winter grazing.
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post #8 of 10 Old 06-04-2020, 10:42 PM
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If you have multiple paddocks, you could put them in one and feed hay while the other paddock grows, then rotate after a while.
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post #9 of 10 Old 06-10-2020, 03:32 PM
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Keep in mind a lot of weeds are dormant and even if you spend weeks and weeks prepping the seedbed some of these dormant weeds are going to keep cropping up. Not much you can do about it once your grass is coming up. You don't want to spray baby grass. Let it establish itself and then next spring you can use a broadleaf herbicide to clear some of the weeds.

I use Trimec 24D with crabgrass control. Duracor is a relatively new brand that targets broadleaf and woody plants but won't hurt grass. It's supposed to be the new alternative to 24D, but it costs $100 a gallon.
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post #10 of 10 Old 06-20-2020, 12:14 PM Thread Starter
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Hey All,
thank you for all of the helpful information.
We have split the pasture into 3 separate paddocks to help with rotation. On 2 and 3 we have some weeds starting to grow (we have not put grass seed down yet). The weeds are mainly Mugwort and Milkweed. Should I just hit it with a herbicide like RoundUp until it dies? Once they are dead I will put grass seed down when it is safe. If I go this route, when would it be safe to have horses on those pastures? I want to make sure whatever I use as a herbicide will not stay in the soil and effect the grass months and months later...

Thank you!
JS
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