Monday, March 28, 2016
I probably should have done this a couple of weeks ago but I needed to get the useless nags out of the hay field so I could turn the ewes out there and that required getting the gate hung and well you get the picture. Typically we are still more or less in Winter by late March and I have plenty of time to do a bit of frost seeding but it may be a bit late this year already. Oh well I am sure it won't matter too much and every day I had time to try and get it done the last few weeks has been extremely windy and wind with light little seed spreading is not a good thing.
Generally when seeding in the colder temp grasses and legume it's best to get the seeds on the pasture when the ground is still pretty cold and the well before the competing grass and weeds have grown more than an inch or two. In this respect the West pasture is about the perfect height right now as the sheep did a pretty good number on it over the Winter.
We are still getting some very cold nights and mornings and the ground has plenty of bare spots for the seeds to take in. I will be pulling the sheep out of the hay field this week and setting them up in the barn and barn lot for lambing season. So there will be no more grazing now until at least early May and probably mid May at the earliest.
Ya the girls are going to be complaining let me tell you, especially the yearlings. If I had another shelter built (which is planned) I could separate the two groups but that just isn't possible right now. We can still get some fast Winter storms, snow, sleet, hail etc. without much notice this time of year. You would be surprised how fast those storms can roll in off the central plains and the last thing I want right now is a lamb being born or caught out in them.
So the girls have grazed this pasture down quite well over Winter and it is sufficiently cropped down for a bit of frost seeding. I used a 50/50 fescue and clover mix that should mimic what was already growing out there and just help fill in the bare spots the sheep created by over grazing.
This little field is just shy of two acres so I used 20 pounds of seed. I typically use 10 pounds per acre myself rounding upwards but I believe that is a bit higher than recommended. Since I still don't have the East pasture fence done yet this little pasture was used a little too much last year. Hopefully I will have the East pasture done by the time I turn the ewes and lambs out and I can allow the West pasture a good 2 months of growth before it gets grazed and then I can put it in a rather light rotation this Summer. The East pasture contains a lot of broad leaf weeds and briars that need to be grazed early before they get too high. The sheep LOVE those types of weeds but not once they get too woody and stalky. They will literally get rid of the broad leaf weeds in one Summer.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!!