Improving a Pasture Fast

We began transitioning from large sheep breeds to smaller Shetlands because they eat less and are well suited to a grass only diet. This is vital since we want to avoid genetically modified (GM) feed. Our pasture is a work in progress and these smaller sheep don’t put the strain on it that the larger breeds did.

I blogged in June about how we used the poor man’s pasture improvement scheme to advantage on our sandy soil. It works well but is slow going. We have some spoiled round bales that we have been using for our deep mulch/no till vegetable garden.

Because the hay is better at growing grass than it is at smothering weeds, we decided to spread it on the pasture instead. Leaves or straw are better choices for a weed/grass free garden, anyway. The photo below shows what happened to the thick mulch at the edge of the garden. This is one year’s growth. I’d love to have pasture grass that thick!

I thought about pushing a bale onto a piece of plywood and pulling it out to the pasture behind the lawn tractor. The bales were so wet and settled it was easier to pull them apart with a turning fork and load the strips into the little trailer.

It is easy to dump the load and kinda kick it around to spread it out.

I started the project and one of my adult sons stepped up and is out there finishing it. I can’t wait to see how large an area six 450# round bales will cover.

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Improving a Pasture Fast — 5 Comments

  1. This a great post and oh so informative! I think my subscribers would really enjoy reading this. I would love for you to come share it at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on Frugally Sustainable this Wednesday. And, I really hope that you will put Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways on your list of carnivals to visit and link to each Wednesday!

    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable
    Here’s the link:

  2. I did the same thing with some old square bales I had. My horses ate it before it was able to “sprout” grass!!

    I can relate to your garden grass. One year, I tilled up my “little garden”. I cannot even begin to tell you that I had the thickest, lushest grass in there. I couldn’t have grown it that thick if I was trying!!

    BTW, A layer of cardboard or layers of paper work great under the straw for weeds too. I’m saving up all my cardboard right now for that purpose.

  3. Thank you so very much for linking up to Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways:) I’m so happy to “meet” you! I am totally loving your blog and your posts! I really hope you make Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways a part of your Wednesdays! And keep the great posts comin’
    Very sincerely,
    Andrea @ Frugally Sustainable

  4. My husband and I are in our mid-late 40’s and we’re about to put our house up for sale in the city so we can move full time to nearly ten acres that we’ve owned for the past decade. We are now raising backyard chickens here in the city, we just couldn’t wait, but I believe you’ll give a lot of inspiration. Everyone in the family thinks we’re nuts. But, we can’t wait!

    I’ll be back to do more reading…love the blog!


  5. Andrea: Thank you for inviting me to your wonderful linkup!
    Misty: Yes, smothering the grass with cardboard makes a lot of sense. And it’s free:)
    Lana: Good luck with your move. I hope your house sells soon so you can start your new life. I am always inspired by people like you who follow your homesteading dream even when living in town.