Pasture Improvement

PatriciaPNW

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I don’t think I will ever have more than chickens on this pasture because it borders wetlands and creek for salmon spawning so it’s not good to have manure runoff etc. Nor will I grow anything on it because of the deer and limited sun - I have potential garden space elsewhere. So why do I still feel like I should improve it? I over seeded with a clover mix a few weeks ago and there’s quite a bit of seedlings from that. Today I dug hole for a plum tree and noticed the dirt seems pretty healthy. Maybe overseed with pollinator mix? I will be careful with invasives like vetch too - that was in some mixes I saw. Any thoughts?
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frustratedearthmother

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If there are deer there, why not a mix that they will enjoy? Unless you don't want them there? I like your idea of improving it, but have no idea of a good suggestion for your part of the world?
 

PatriciaPNW

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If there are deer there, why not a mix that they will enjoy? Unless you don't want them there? I like your idea of improving it, but have no idea of a good suggestion for your part of the world?
This ^^ is why I need the website! Great idea. I like the local deer but never thought to feed them. I’m not a hunter either so I didn’t connect the deer mix with anything but baiting them. My yard dog will keep them out of the flower gardens and porches so no problems there. The dog is fenced out of the pasture so the deer can jump the 4 foot fence and get to the pasture without hassles from her. I like the pasture being put to good use. Deer mix over seeded and I already have some clover for bees. It will be a project for next fall because I have got to get the clover seed on back order into my other pasture across town as soon as it comes (there’s always some hitch, right?). Perfect - thank you.
 

baymule

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Clovers improve the soil, so a mix is a good thing to plant. So is the deer plot mix. What about wild flowers for the spring/summer? We have black eyed Susans here that I allow to grow in the garden because I love the splash of color. You could wait for the unsold bulb flowers to go on sale and buy them, plant them and wait for next year for them to come up and bloom. They will probably come up, but not bloom if planted late.
 

Lazy Gardener

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You SHOULD care about that field b/c you are the steward of the land. How big is this area? Near by neighbors who might want to fence it and keep a few herd animals on it to improve it? The very most important thing is that you keep it from growing up to trees. Cleared land is hard won by blood, sweat, and tears. So... unless you intend to manage a tree lot, do everything in your power to maintain the quality of the soil and a healthy polyculture planting. The deer may do an adequate job of grazing it. If not, I suggest that you have it (high) cut at least twice/year to help maintain it. You could plant it to a wild flower mix, plus your clover, and let a local bee keeper park some hives there. (you should benefit from that exchange by getting some free honey every year.)
 

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As for concern about contamination of the water by herd animals, IF the land is properly managed, not over grazed (stripped of foliage) manure run off will NOT be a problem. The mob grazing fellow that @Beekissed is following has pointed out that fish actually grow better in areas adjacent to well managed cow pasture. B/C there is a greater diversification of species in the pasture, around, and in the water.
 

flowerbug

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the lack of light is the biggest problem with trying to get a lot of production from an area for most garden veggies.

is the limit of light due to surrounding trees?
 

PatriciaPNW

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I appreciate the feedback. No thoughts of trees - everywhere else is wood lot and forest wetlands but I want a buffer from my house and mow regularly. Too many farmer ancestors to give up pasture I guess so you right on that. Can’t do 🐝 because niece deathly allergic (I am in a class & have mentor but hives will go on rental place). You’re right about the good soil too - I thought squash and root crops.

I am curious now and will look
up careful use of water-adjacent pasture. The county warns against it. On the other hand my neighbor has cleared acres of protected wetland and county has done nothing over past year 🤦‍♀️ Here‘s me in midst of it. Wish you could see the baby ferns growing off branches. Bottom picture is clearcut former “protected wetland.” I’m a caregiver by nature and wish I could protect this for the future.


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