How to make a pasture?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Panther, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Panther

    Panther Well-Known Member

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    We are currently looking at a property that has 2.5 acres of manicured lawn.

    If we buy it, we would want to turn a minimum of 1 acre into pasture. How do you do that? Do you simply throw around some clover seed? Does it have to be tilled first? Is this a dumb question? :shrug:
     
  2. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    First of all, what kind of livestock do you plan throwing onto you're new pasture? Goats, sheep, horses, cattle...??

    The manicured lawn I think might have to be ripped up and replanted with grasses/clover that are more suitable for pasture becuase if you don't do it, chances are the livestock your putting on there will. Up here where I live it would be reseeded with timothy, fescue, and a bunch of other prairie grasses suitable for grazing.

    Just my two cents.
     

  3. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

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    I forgot to add that yes, it will have to be tilled first, like run over it with the plow or cultivator, and then reseed it (like I said in my previous post) with pasture grasses suitable for your area.

    And no, this ain't a stupid question your asking.
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You need to tell where you live to get a good answer to this question. If you live in the corn belt, a good lawn is already a good pasture for your purposes. If the lawn grows fast it will be palatable to livestock here. Just don't get carried away with the number of animals you put on it. Also, the amount of rainfall your area gets during the growing season will make or break the success of the pasture. Adding high nitrogen fertilizer will dramaticly increase grass growth if the moisture is ample.
     
  5. Panther

    Panther Well-Known Member

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    We're in the very fertile area of Southern Ontario, Canada between London and Stratford. The property is surrounded by cash crop fields.

    As far as using the pasture, we were thinking about free-ranging chickens, one horse and MAYBE 2 goats. Hay is readily available to buy here, but with that much free space, we'd rather have pasture than a useless lawn.

    The front lawn will be tilled up for garden space as well as an orchard.
     
  6. Sammy

    Sammy Well-Known Member

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    Please put that in your profile.

    Just fence it off and let it grow. No need to till it up and re-plant.
     
  7. Spinner

    Spinner Well-Known Member

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    You might want to find out what kind (if any) chemicals were used on the lawn. Chickens can survive just about anything. There might be some chemical in the ground that could hurt the horse and goats. The horse might enjoy grazing the lawn depending on what kind of grass is growing, but the goats will need browse, they like to eat at shoulder level or higher and stay on the move, not standing in one area very long.
     
  8. Panther

    Panther Well-Known Member

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    Done! Thanks for the reminder! :)

    So given that it may be possible to 'fence it off and let it grow'....for subsequent supplementation and renewal in years to come, how do you 'sow' a pasture?

    Do you have to use a seed drill and plant it like a field? Or do you just grab a sack of seed and literally scatter it by hand?

    Sorry if these are 'newbie' questions :help:
     
  9. vicker

    vicker Well-Known Member

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    Just hand sow some seeeds in the fall. They will settle in nicely over the winter, and come up in the spring and summer.
     
  10. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    ditto on that. That's one thing to check for a lawn to use for grazing. Getting a soil anaylysis done might not be a bad idea.