Monday, March 24, 2014

Overseeding Pastures This Week

I started overseeding our pastures and hay fields over the weekend and should finish by the end of the week.

Over the years I have had really good like revitalizing our fields by overseeding in early spring.  Some people like to overseed on the snow; I wait until the snow has melted.  It's ideal when daytime temperatures get above 32 and the ground is soft (almost muddy) and nighttime temperatures drop below 25 degrees.  The colder it gets at night the better because the extreme thawing and freezing pulls the seed into the grown.  This process eliminates the need to cover seed or roll your fields.

I've had my best luck overseeding orchard grass, brome, timothy and clover.  The seeds vary in size and weight so I buy them separately from a hay seed supplier.  Pre-mix hay/pasture seed is OK, but there tends to be more of the grasses I really don't want as well as fillers.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Pick Up Manure & Old Hay To Reduce Spring Mud

Mud season is well underway with all of the snow melt and spring rains.  One of the best things you can do is pick up your pens and stay on top of manure and any uneaten hay. On really rainy days it also helps if you refrain from feeding hay outside in pens.  More mud prevention tips at

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Thursday, January 16, 2014

Be Careful For What You Wish For - The Neverending Winter

I wished for this: winter.  Last fall, my friends who know I'm not fond of winter, thought I was crazy when I kept saying I was looking forward to winter . . . .  My reason was so I wouldn't feel like there were still things to paint: fence, gates, etc., and weeds to pull in the hay fields and pastures.

"I'm going to clean (my house) and read," I said. 

Well, I got what I wished for early when around the 5th of November we got our first snow- not hat unusual for Michigan.  What was, was that it didn't go away.  And now we are some 3 months later and we are already at 69 inches of snow for the season (this is usually what we get the entire winter).

I did pretty well with all of this snow, days of sub-zero temps and winds, until I couldn't ride.  We don't have an indoor . . . .and I'm usually pretty dedicated about outdoor winter riding as long as the footing is OK and it's at least in the mid-20s.  Well the two feet of snow we got in early January, followed by a brief thaw and an inch of rain pretty well ruined the footing . . . . probably until spring.

Anyhow, next time . . . I will think twice about wishing for winter!