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By 5 Acres and A Dream
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More Winter Projects: Pasture and Grain

Monday, March 13, 2017 9:05
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(Before It's News)

Last time I showed you my latest hedgerow project; this post I'll show you our other outdoor winter projects – pasture and grain-growing.

We live in a mild enough climate so that most winters we can have winter pasture as well as summer forage. Last summer was so hot and dry, however, that I was late in planting. I like to plant cool weather forage in September and October, but I postponed planting until the rains started to come.

You might recall this photo from a post at the end of last December.

We've had enough rainfall and mild days to get good growth.

Here it is just before I turn the girls and kids in there. Goats must be
introduced to fresh new pasture slowly to let their rumens to adjust.

I also planted two areas for the bucks.

This is a deer and turkey forage mix of wheat, oats,
and winter peas from the feed store, just starting to grow.

Do you see how the grass is growing in rows?

A closer view.

Dan disced, but it should have been leveled too, so that all the seed didn't roll into the little furrows.

If the soil is bare then I just toss the seed directly onto the ground. This is good for spot seeding and also larger areas. I plan the plantings for when I need to muck out the barn. We don't have a seed drill so I hand broadcast it and if I can, cover it with barn cleanings.

Deer forage mix seed broadcast and lightly mulched
 with straw, hay, & manure from the goat barns.

The straw and hay from the barn covers the seed and the manure helps it decompose plus adds nitrogen to the soil.

After a couple of rains these seeds are sprouting and grass is growing.

A picture like this always looks so pretty to me!

On to grain. Every year we try to plant about a quarter-acre of field corn. This year we're moving that location to a spot that is not prone to blackberries and morning glories. Dan prepped the soil and I planted with the same pasture seed as a green manure crop.

Sprouting wheat, peas, and oats will become green manure.

Green manure is a cover crop that is tilled into the soil while it is still young and green. It adds both nitrogen and organic matter to the soil.

Our winter wheat is coming along as well.

Right now it just looks like grass, but soon it will begin to grow.

It's called winter wheat because it's planted in the fall and harvested in spring. Summer wheat is planted in spring for a summer harvest. Once it's harvested I'll plant it back to pasture.

So those have been my outdoor projects this winter, and as a result the place is greening up nicely. No complaints about that. 😄


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