Strolling Through the Pasture June 2012 Edition

It is interesting how the plants have changed in the last month.  The pennycress is just about all gone.  Henbit has disappeared.  The goats are doing a good job of eating back the brush.

Fescue is clearly the dominant species with pockets of wildflowers here and there.

There are a number of other grasses out there including wild oat and orchardgrass, both of which I would like to encourage.

I was also surprised to find a little cheat.

Once I fence out my neighbor’s cows I’ll be able to run my own on the pasture with a planned, high-density impact instead of the cows just running wild eating what they choose.  For now, I’m happy to have a diversity of grasses and weeds…but less fescue would be great.

I have had to mow the Canadian thistles.  It was just taking too much of our time to chop them by hand.  A farm guest recently suggested we chop the thistles close to the ground and put a few grains of Morton salt on them.  Sounds like a plan.  There are still plenty out there.  Kinda pretty though.

Clovers are fairly thick now.  A wide variety of weeds are growing well, some are in bloom.  All that variety helps my nutrient cycling and ensures my livestock have access to the things they need.  Everything from wild carrot

to horsenettle.

Ragweed isn’t threatening to take over this year…for once.  It’s just in a little pocket by the house.  Achoo!

I could continue listing plants and pictures but you get the idea.  There is a wide variety out there.  I think that’s a good thing.  It’s not a lawn.  I would like to see things change a bit and suspect they will over time.  Especially now that we got a rain!

How is your pasture doing?

4 thoughts on “Strolling Through the Pasture June 2012 Edition

  1. Definitely relating to the thistles issue – I did an hour of hacking the other day – trying to get them all before they start to form seed. Round here, the name for wild carrot is Queen Anne’s lace…horsenettle is new to me, and I’ve never heard of henbit…but I love the names.

    • I can understand the theory but I can’t say we noticed anything. Just from the radical change in pasture grazing patterns and the increase in grass volume, disturbance and fertility thistle populations are radically down. Chickens, cows, pigs and goats all hurt the thistle.

      Since we shipped the goats we also cut the flowering heads off of thistle with a sicket…but that’s mostly therapeutic.

      • Yeah I have tried salt and vinegar in dif combinations on weeds and good old manure works best along with embracing the thistleness of the thistle! I try to pick the flowers now and used to take one into work once in a while. It is funny as some people will say – isn’t that a weed? and most find it very pretty and want to know what it is lol. The sickle therapy I save for my henbane (dif than henbit and nasty) I tried to embrace it and bring some flowers in but they stink so off with their heads!

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