Hobby Farm Soil Ammendments. What? How Much? Why?

good pasture

It’s Spring again already.  Or at least it feels like it here.  Late in Feb. and it was 78 degree yesterday and in the 60s today.  Thunderstorms overnight still raining when we got up and them about 11 someone threw the light switch and it was bright and sunny out.  Breezy but not bad.

bad pasture

This is what we have right now! Overgrazed and not much here to start from even when warm weather comes.

Makes you think about planting something doesn’t it?  I mean just about anything!  Even grass right?  Yes that too but in this case I am referring to pasture grass.  Not the kind I have to mow in the yard.  Yes I will get around to that too but it is not my priority right now.  We need good pasture for the cows.  Three of them with hopefully three on the way.  It needs to grow, do is fast and regular.  So what do I need to do to have this happen.

We had a soil test last summer and found out we need lime.  About 2.5 tons to the acre.  Apparently all the farms here in the area should have lime added.  Have to bring that PH level up so the grasses in the pasture can utilize the nutrients already in the soil.  I talked about that a little in http://hobbyfarmlife.com/how-to-make-our-farm-garden-soil-ohh-so-sweet/  and  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/dry-or-liquid-on-the-farm-and-why-lime-that-is/.  So I decided I am going with the liquid for quicker results right now.  But what else do we need to do?  Back to the search engine.  The answer to everything is there!  Right?

Well the answer no doubt is there but which is the right answer?  We have all heard about farmers using too much nitrogen and how it leeches out of the soil and pollutes our water systems and even drinking water causing alga growth as well as excessive plant growth in our waterways, ponds and lakes.

Slow or fast release?  What difference does it make?   The fast release just means in dissolves more quickly when it is wet?  And if it dissolves in the water doesn’t that mean it leeches out more quickly as the water runs off?

I’m on top of the hill shouldn’t my neighbor downhill be kicking in on my fertilize?  Is another farm getting the benefit of my expenditure?

Well how about urea?  Whatever that is.  It does the same job is more organic and maybe less expensive.  But it is also more water soluble I think I read.  So back down hill it goes.  Then of course there is time release in all of it.  Just not sure it knows when is the right time or if it is just wet this spring is all the time the right time for it to dissolve.  Which way does water flow again?

Add to that the fact that if your soil is loose and friable or just sandy it percolates through it more quickly.  Gone again!  And let’s not forget those micro nutrients.  Got to have them as well.  And those other 2 elements that is on that fertilizer with the nitrogen.  Seems they are just as bad about disappearing on you.  There are grasses that add nitrogen to the soil but you have to get them to grow first.  lol  Life and it’s circles

You don’t have these issues right?  Everything is just wonderful all the time where you are.  I still have a lot of looking to do to finds the sources (s) that I can read and understand but it is out there somewhere.

good pasture

A good example of about what I would like to end up with this summer. A LONG WAY TO GO.

As with anything we need to use a little common sense with this.  But common sense seems to be about as common as hen’s teeth around here sometime.

If you like myself are looking around for answers and you find a good source let me know!  Would you?

How much difference does it really make?  I think this will be my next posting.  Watch for it.

Bob

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