Tips for Keeping a Healthy Pasture
Here at Nature’s Seed we understand that as a livestock owner, the most important thing for our animals is a healthy diet. We also understand that to get your animals a healthy diet, you must take careful steps to ensure your pasture is healthy for your livestock.
Here are a few steps you can take:
Keep an eye on the health of your soil
At the end of the day, if your soil has no nutrition in it and little moisture, the seeds you plant just won’t grow. You need to ensure that your soil is the right environment for the seeds you plant. Take the time to ensure your soil is being irrigated correctly as well as keeping something growing on it throughout the year. Keeping your soil covered is one of the most important things to do to ensure your soil won’t dry out.
Take the time to test your soil
Although you have worked with that soil for generations or even just months, take into consideration that soil changes and you may not know what’s going on under the grass. Send your soil in for testing. This will give you the most accurate answer on the unknowns of your soil levels. As soon as you get the accurate levels and numbers on your soil, you can add or subtract any supplements, fertilizers, lime or any other help needed. Once you have the numbers, you can try lime, fertilizer or any other amendments as needed. Also understand that different grasses and plant species may grow better in lower/higher pH levels.
Research the species of seeds you want to plant
If you are planting livestock pastures, hone in on what species of livestock you want to cater to. If you’re planting for cattle, you’ll probably want a blend that will provide the upmost nutrition to your cattle without creating too hot of a feed. Think about what blend will be best for your cattle? If hay is a concern, Ladino clover (white) or red clover are good choices. Alfalfa is also a good choice if hay is your key concern. Take a look at the numbers from your soil test and think about your climate to decide what would grow best on your land.
Although this seems like a no-brainer, the fact of the matter is, weeds grow faster than we think and every year weeds never fail to grow waist-high before we can get a handle on them. Not only are weeds an infestation, they rob the soil of the nutrients your pasture blend seeds need to grow. They can drain the soil of moister and block out the sun for your grasses and legumes that will grow in your cattle blend. Instead of taking a treat-all kill-all route, take the time to identify the species of weeds you’re dealing with, so you can create a specific plan to rid the pests of your pasture without harming your newly planted blend.