Ongoing Farm Battle For More And Better Grass

good grass

As you will see below I tried to get a little more graphic or perhaps pictorial would be a better word and show a little more of what is going on in this ongoing farm battle of the grasses.  Having allowed myself to get quite frustrated with trying to get the pictures aligned and positioned in such a way so hopefully it would make sense to you.  But to be honest what I was doing was not really making sense to me and I almost trashed this one and went to something else.  But I am known for being a little hard headed on occasion.

Pauline says just about any occasion will do.  You can laugh it will be ok.  We Do!

Since we have been here it haws been an ongoing battle to get everything done or finished just the way we want it.  So far the score on that is, I believe, 0 to however many attempts we have made.  You know how it is.  Just about finished with a project and one of us comes up with a but if we had done it this way.  Oh well it is what it is.

It is the same with the land and animals as well.

Originally it was almost 9 acres of land that had not been used, or maintained, in about fifteen or twenty years which was fine in that other than our driveway no-one could see us and we could see no one.  Good!  We like privacy.   But livestock could not and would not eat those trees.  So for the pasty 15 years it has been clear a little and try to get grass to grow on the cleared ground.  Not easy.  For fear of losing all our topsoil to erosion we cut the trees off and left a very low stump and the roots in the ground.  Then there is the alkalinity of or ph level of the soil to deal with.  Most soils in this area call for about 2.5 TONS per acre of lime to bring it up to the 6.5 range I believe is considered the optimum level.

Sound like a lot to you?  It does to me as well.  The cost?  Not exactly sure but I know It is more than I want to spend all at one time not to mention that it is not all ready at one time.  Or that there is still quite a few trees standing,  Or that most of it is not level or open enough to allow a spreader truck to operate and I don’t want to take the chance that someone could get hurt or even killed on one of the slopes trying to do it.

Then I discovered there is LIQUID LIME!  Didn’t even know it existed until about 3 years back.  So what difference does that make?  Well I can do it myself.  As large or small an area as I decide to do at a time.  As lite or as heavy an application as my heart and my wallet will allow at the time.  As often as I deem necessary for the desired results.  The advantages of liquid compared to dry?  Check out  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/dry-or-liquid-on-the-farm-and-why-lime-that-is/  .  It may not give you all the info you want but maybe a little food for thought.

The results have not always been what I want but maybe it is me.  Maybe to little or just maybe my application system is not the best.  It is after all just a 20 sprayer tank that I put on the back of the four wheeler and apply by hand with a single wand spray nozzle.  But that is what I have and you have to remember as well that on occasion(s) I have been referred to as tight.  I apply my fertilizer the same way.  As much or as little as I want or can afford at the time.

Below you can see a little of what I set out to achieve here originally.  It is not yet a carpet of lush green grass so tall I can’t see the cows in it but it is better than it was and will continue to improve as we continue to work on this ongoing project.  Speaking of which.  Remember I mentioned earlier our projects always seem to change about the time we think we are done.  Pauline and I were standing on the porch the other day enjoying how the land is beginning to green up with our efforts and the unseasonably warm Feb. when she says;  Maybe we should take out a few more trees.

I about, well let’s say fell over.  I was very careful not to wind up divorced over the ones already taken.

GO FUGURE!!!

The Original Mess (complete with photos)

All through the  history of this blog you have heard me speak of the ongoing battle of not having enough grazing for the cattle or hogs or goats or whatever the point of focus was at that time.  The fact that we have the acreage; almost 9 acres but so much of it, in fact just about all of it was covered in young and not so young tree growth.

100 yds

Much like this

And you read my speaking of the woes of the amount of time and effort and time required to clear it by hand and get it cleaned up since all I have is a chain saw and small tractor to do the work with.    Complete with my questionable attempts, failures and successes to make the equipment I had do double duty as something they weren’t really made for.  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/remember-the-hay-wagon-idea/

a rake was needed for the front of the tractor to make the clearing and clean-up on the land a lot easier

a rake was needed for the front of the tractor to make the clearing and clean-up on the land a lot easier

You have also read of the ongoing need to add soil amenities to grow more and healthier grass.  Lime, fertilizers and other soil nutrientients.  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/hobby-farm-soil-ammendments-what-how-much-why/  Then of course there is the famous or is that infamous hay wagon  http://hobbyfarmlife.com/the-hay-wagon-reborn/

Chicken Coop

By the way, that didn’t work out badly after all.  It has to be moved almost daily or too much hay is piled on the ground for the seed to sprout but you can get new growth in your field from the seed in the hay.  Plus if you have the time and put out the effort you can use less hay by picking up the unsoiled hay they drop and put it back in the wago0n.  Sounds cheap?  I think of it as economical or frugal.  Or plain just good use of what we have already paid for.

Ok so what am I trying to say?  Am I finished?  Eeverything done?  Perfect now and all we have to do is sit back and enjoy it.?

NOT HARDLY!!!!!!  Life does not work that way.  Or at least mine doesn’t.  Never had a project yet that I was not remodeling reworking or improving on even before it was finished.

This photo does not show the color I would like it to and I even tried my hand at enhancing it to give you a view of what we are enjoying this spring but you will have to take my word for it and believe that it is great this year as compared to what it has been in the past.

good grass 2

The field directly behind the house. NOTICE IT IS GREEN                                                                             

bad pasture

NOW THIS is more like what is normal for this time of year. A little green here and there but mostly brown with only stems and creepers showing.

Is this due to my genius in the addition of soil improvements?  All I can say to that is those of you who know me, even if only through this blog know that is not likely.  February has been exceptionally warm and wet this year.  Our spring green-up does not normally start before mid to late March not early Feb..

Let me show you a few other photos in an attempt to give you some idea of where we are.  Keep in mind now these were taken the last week in February and it is now the 8th of March and supposed to get in the 20s tonight.

anotherburnpile

I Now this lush green spot is where I had a burn pile. Ash sweetens the soil. The surrounding area has had lime added but obviously it did not have the same effect as the burn pile.

burn oile

Another burn pile.

May I should have just let the downed trees and brush lay and burned it where it was!  Couldn’t!  That would have damaged or killed the trees I wanted to keep.

I

 

anotherburnpile

STILL ANOTHER burn pile             I think you are probably beginning to get the idea now.  Anywhere I burnt the downed trees and brush the seed germinated a lot better and the grass has grown a lot better.

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