May 19, 2020
Weeds and weedwacking
This spring has been pretty cool, maybe since I'm working from home I'm just enjoying it more and loving the weather. There seems to be more weeds in our pasture this year and that is our fault. We didn't spray for weeds at all last year and didn't do any liming of the acidic soils. This year we plan to do a little bit of reviving. All three pastures have been sprayed with a horse approved pasture product. I still like keeping them off sprayed areas for at least a week or more. We have tons of buttercup but not as much in past years. There are other weeds to: curly dock, henbit and dead nettle (good elsewhere for my bees but I don't want that in my pastures!), wild onion, and then a handful of others.
So while off the pastures for a week or so Steve and I did something we've been talking about doing forever, temporarily fencing in a portion of the back yard that isn't over the septic field. It's essentially the side yard that we kind of use for a through pass when getting hay deliveries but otherwise is just a place we have to move. We also have our sort of fenced in vegetable garden in this area and the trailer and truck parked next to the house. It took maybe twenty step in posts and about 500 yards of electric rope to enclose the area. We left a path around the outside for us to be able to walk from our backyard to the wooden fence pass through and get to the barn yard without navigating the electric rope. It's working nicely so far, I spent yesterday at the patio set with my laptop working to hang with the horses and enjoy the weather. It did much for my mental state! When we aren't home I don't like the idea of the horses being in a section of fencing like this so once work from home occurs less it will most likely be that we do this on the weekends.
The grass is so lush in this area since it hasn't been grazed as much as our pastures. It's nice to have an alternative place to graze them while we are resting the pastures for a few weeks. We need to do a better regimen of fertilizing, liming and spraying. One pasture I spread a ton of orchard grass seed this fall and it's taken pretty nicely. We'll do that some this fall in all three pastures and probably have the horses off the pastures for a few months from September to January or February. I have to do some more research on the best way to revive the pastures.
Still they are better than when we first moved in and I often have a neighbor making that comment to me which makes me feel I'm at least doing some things right! I just continually want to improve the ground. Our soil is very acidic and the clay gets compacted easily making it a great place for weeds. We want to have good pasture in the summer months for the horses since it saves on hay costs. My easy keeper mare doesn't like her muzzle when we have nice lush pastures but she can deal!