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June 28, 2017
Pasture maintenance is an ongoing battle for horse owners. Horses are notorious for ripping grass up and destroying pastures, one bite at a time.
Here are some helpful tips for maintaining your pastures:
If you have enough land, splitting your acreage into five or six large pastures and rotating the horses on each pasture for a week at a time gives the grass a break from hungry horses.
If you do not have enough land for many pastures, you can split your acreage into just two or three small pastures and rotate the horses between them every 2 to 3 months. This will allow the grass some time to recover to make sure the pastures are not overgrazed and left with a destroyed root system.
Don’t forget to lime and fertilize! Your pastures should ideally be tested every fall and spring and given the appropriate fertilizing and lime mix to keep the soil in top condition. Lime helps balance the PH in soils, allowing grass and root systems to grow with ease. Lime also helps to soften and open hard clay soils, while closing light and sandy soils.
Pasture weed control is very important to allow your grasses to grow without fighting weeds for nutrients. There are many safer pasture weed killers, such as Pasture Pro. This type of weed killer allows you to weed your pastures without harming your grass and you can turn the horses back out onto the pasture as soon as the weed killer dries. Weed control is frequently done in the spring, summer and fall.
There are many types of grasses and different seasons to plant them in. Warm season grasses are typically planted in Southern states in the late spring/early summer. Cold season grasses are typically planted in northern states in the spring and fall. In states with cold winters and hot summers, many land owners will choose to plant cold season grasses like orchard, timothy and fescue, and then over-seed in the late spring/early summer with a warm season grass such as Bermuda grass.
When in doubt, you can always stop by your nearest agricultural center to set up a soil sample test and get recommendations on which grasses grow well in your area!
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