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Kelly - Purebred Arabian - Ex endurance racer - Training to barrel race
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I'm wondering how to manage pastures! I have two pastures: one is little less than an acre and severely overgrazed, the second is close to three acres, overgrazed in certain spots, and the last half is mostly trees.

Right now, I have my horse and two goats in the larger pasture and I'm wondering what I can do to get the smaller to regrow and be nice and lush. I've spread poop already and plan on weeding out all the thistles and broudleaved stuff, but reseeding and fertilizing I don't know what to do about. I was thinking of fescue or bermuda to reseed? I live along the Western Coast, PNW.

Any other info, I'll gladly provide! And thank you in advance!
 

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Natalie, do you have Tractor Supply stores there? At our local one, we purchased a “pasture mix” to overseer our mare’s pasture.
I’m guessing that if you bought locally, it would include varieties of grasses that would grow well in your area.
As far as fertilizing...well, you already did! 🙂
 

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Kelly - Purebred Arabian - Ex endurance racer - Training to barrel race
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Natalie, do you have Tractor Supply stores there? At our local one, we purchased a “pasture mix” to overseer our mare’s pasture.
I’m guessing that if you bought locally, it would include varieties of grasses that would grow well in your area.
As far as fertilizing...well, you already did! 🙂
Oh, yeah! We have a few TSC's in our area! I love their products! :D I guess technically I did fertilize! 😂
 

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I would not use the tsc mix. IF there is a seed store near you that supplies farmers , call and ask them the best grass for pasture in your area. My area is Hot and Dry in the summer. I have the giant bermuda mix (Pasto rico ) . I usually have grass until Jan. If I keep it irrigated well. I would not plant fescue. I tried orchard grass and it grew well. It took a lot of water, and my horses were not thrilled with it. Some of the pre mixed seeds have clover in them. You can reseed with a grazing bermuda and with rye made for pastures. You need to let the grass grow to at least 4 inches and then mow it so the roots set , and do not get damaged from grazing or hooves. I would let it grow at least twice and mow twice before grazing. I over seed every two or 3 years . I have 2 horses out on the pastures, which get rotated, and each pasture is about 3 acres.
 

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Do you have any form of irrigation? If you aren't getting regular rain, then I would suggest installing sprinklers of some sort.

Something I have found interesting with my own pastures - I graze my goats separate from my horses. My goats rarely touch the grass, but rather eat all the weeds which allows the grass to grow in thick. The horses, of course, are the opposite. Therefore when I rotate paddocks, the goats enter a paddock full of weeds and the horses one full of grass and everyone is happy. Don't know if this will work for you though, my animals may just be weird 😅
 

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Kelly - Purebred Arabian - Ex endurance racer - Training to barrel race
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Do you have any form of irrigation? If you aren't getting regular rain, then I would suggest installing sprinklers of some sort.

Something I have found interesting with my own pastures - I graze my goats separate from my horses. My goats rarely touch the grass, but rather eat all the weeds which allows the grass to grow in thick. The horses, of course, are the opposite. Therefore when I rotate paddocks, the goats enter a paddock full of weeds and the horses one full of grass and everyone is happy. Don't know if this will work for you though, my animals may just be weird 😅
I do not have a form of irrigation, no. We are on well water, and with summer coming in hot, we aren't watering unless we really have to. We were talking about discing it, but we don't have a disc or drag XD
 

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First, check your soil to find out what it's missing. You can do this through your Dept of Agriculture or even buy a home kit to do it yourself. It's cheap and simple to use. Just adding things is not the most effective way to get a good pasture growing. Once you know how much nitrogen, phosphate and potassium you have, and your PH level, you can add things. Lime is a fairly easy one and can be bought in a pelleted or powdered form. The other stuff is more complicated. But if you start with a soil test (take soil samples from a few different areas in the pasture), you can at least have a better idea of the direction you want to go in, even if you don't address all the issues in the first year.

Overseeding is not very effective if the soil cannot support good growth. You're just throwing your money away. And you may need to bring in some equipment, though on one acre, it can be smaller versions of that equipment like a home-made drag. Is there anyone around you with a farm who would let you borrow some equipment for a couple of days?

When you say you spread poop around, did you compost it first? Fresh manure doesn't make very good fertilizer, unfortunately. It takes about 3 years for it to compost in a pile. This can be accelerated if you turn it frequently, or using other methods of aerating your piles.
 

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The typical local pasture grass in that area is perennial rye. Once it's established it will do great and not need a lot of maintenance. This is what is on my pastures in our place that's west of Seattle. We don't have any horses on it right now but it does seem to be self-maintaining. I will say, however, that if you have easy keepers this may not be the best grass for you. Rye can be fairly high in sugar, but then again that's true for most grasses that will grow out there.

I've been trying to find some sort of native grass mix that would work in my area but I have not so far had a lot of luck. I have had people suggest getting the local ag extension person out there. I've contacted mine and he's willing to come out, I just have to figure out when I can be there (we currently live in Texas). So I would contact yours and see what he / she says.

I agree with @Acadianartist that you need to see what your pasture needs specifically. But I will say that generally most pastures out there, from what I have heard, need lime because the pH is too acidic. I'd like to get mine limed but I'm having a hard time finding someone to do it.

If you're trying to get rid of the broadleaf weeds, can you put your goats in that pasture and leave the horse in the other? Or would that be stressful for the horse?
 
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I'm wondering how to manage pastures! I have two pastures: one is little less than an acre and severely overgrazed, the second is close to three acres, overgrazed in certain spots, and the last half is mostly trees.

Right now, I have my horse and two goats in the larger pasture and I'm wondering what I can do to get the smaller to regrow and be nice and lush. I've spread poop already and plan on weeding out all the thistles and broudleaved stuff, but reseeding and fertilizing I don't know what to do about. I was thinking of fescue or bermuda to reseed? I live along the Western Coast, PNW.

Any other info, I'll gladly provide! And thank you in advance!
Do you live in Washington where you get a lot of rain ?
 

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Kelly - Purebred Arabian - Ex endurance racer - Training to barrel race
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The typical local pasture grass in that area is perennial rye. Once it's established it will do great and not need a lot of maintenance. This is what is on my pastures in our place that's west of Seattle. We don't have any horses on it right now but it does seem to be self-maintaining. I will say, however, that if you have easy keepers this may not be the best grass for you. Rye can be fairly high in sugar, but then again that's true for most grasses that will grow out there.

I've been trying to find some sort of native grass mix that would work in my area but I have not so far had a lot of luck. I have had people suggest getting the local ag extension person out there. I've contacted mine and he's willing to come out, I just have to figure out when I can be there (we currently live in Texas). So I would contact yours and see what he / she says.

I agree with @Acadianartist that you need to see what your pasture needs specifically. But I will say that generally most pastures out there, from what I have heard, need lime because the pH is too acidic. I'd like to get mine limed but I'm having a hard time finding someone to do it.

If you're trying to get rid of the broadleaf weeds, can you put your goats in that pasture and leave the horse in the other? Or would that be stressful for the horse?
It'd definitely stress out the horse. He thinks they are his XD

Do you live in Washington where you get a lot of rain ?
I live in Oregon, but yes we get lots and lots of rain!
 
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