Your pastures provide grazing food for your horses or cattle and allow them to lead comfortable lifestyles in open spaces. Due to the large role of pastures, you should do all you can to make them ideal for your livestock as spring rolls around. Heed these tips for better spring pasture management.
Test a Soil Sample
The composition of the soil in your pastures will affect their growth of vegetation. While you may be tempted to indiscriminately spread nitrogen fertilizer to foster better pasture health, it’s better to test a soil sample before jumping to this action. When you know exact what’s in your soil, you can supplement your pastures with the precise nutrients they need. All the while, you can visually survey your land as it slowly becomes green again to help you figure out what you should do for it.
Frost Seed the Ground
Frost seeding is a common practice in spring where you scatter grass and legume seeds on bare ground while it’s still a bit cold out. The frost can help work the seeds into the soil so that they grow when the weather warms up. This can supplement your pasture with even more for your livestock to graze on. Just make sure you don’t spread seeds on top of snow, as they won’t take root if they aren’t in direct contact with the ground.
Keep the Weeds in Check
Weeds are pesky because they can overtake the actual plants you provide for your animals, so a tip for better spring pasture management is to keep the weeds in check. It’s not realistic to crouch down and try to pull up every weed on your land, but there are other ways to prevent them from becoming too prominent. You could use a large tow behind mower to keep weeds from becoming too tall and blocking sunlight from reaching surrounding grass and legumes. Keeping weeds shorts also stops them from seeding. As you pull the mower behind your tractor, you’ll be able to cover a lot of distance without too much effort. To really get to the root of the problem (no pun intended), though, you should refer to your soil sample test. You can utilize its results to create the proper nutrient ratios to promote grass and legume growth while inhibiting weeds.