Saturday, April 5, 2008

Update on Field #2 (the Quackmire) MiG Experiment

Last fall's post is here: Field #2

A photo from about a week ago from a similar viewpoint...

My goals last fall were to make good use of the early grazing, and then let it grow back and cut it for hay, if possible. You can read my post about our (tiny scale!) hay experiments here.

Unfortunately for my plans, the rain this spring was not at all conducive to good grass. We had a ton of rain in January and February, and then basically none all of March. The grass was stressed and has all gone to seed ASAP because of that. At least the pond filled up completely. That means it should last all summer without going dry.

The grass was thin and not worth putting up a temporary fence in order to graze the horses on it. In fact, I have not done that anywhere this year. Instead, I have just cut big armfuls and taken it to them to eat. Part of the reasoning behind that decision is that I need to follow the guidelines as far as how much grazing/clipping is beneficial for grass vs. damaging. The right amount of grazing at the right time can make the grass roots stronger for next year, but overgrazing and grazing in wet weather can damage it. Next year I want to have as good of grass as possible, so, the best thing to do with my situation this year is take the grass to the horses, rather than the horses to the grass.

The grass has almost finished going to seed around here now, so pretty soon I'll have to stop. :-( For one thing, it will dry up and turn brown, and for another, grass that is that mature is just not very palatable to most animals, even when it is still green. It does not have much nutrition after it sets seed, either.

This year's grazing/hay making did not turn out as I hoped for this field, but at least I can't say it was anybody's fault! Below are some more photos of that field and the pond next to it. It looks deceptively lush! Ahh....





L

3 comments:

Rising Rainbow said...

Having the horses on the grass when it is wet makes problems for the roots. I still cant believe your growing season is so short though. What a bummer that is.

L said...

Yeah, huge bummer! I don't want to live in this area for the rest of my life, but until I can move to an area with better rainfall I am trying to make the best of things...

photogchic said...

Looks so pretty though....are you going to try again next year?