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Creating A Healthy Pasture

Creating A Healthy Pasture

You want your pastures to perform in top condition. A healthy pasture provides nourishing forage and comfortable home to your horses, cattle and other grazing animals. Using the right kind of seed will help meet the nutritional requirements for your livestock. 

Step 1

A healthy pasture starts with healthy soil. Testing your soil can be daunting at first though not hard to do. Simple test kits can be purchased online or you can have your local extension office, ag. Office or a local college come and test the soil for you. Knowing the health and quality of your soil will help you make decisions about what your pasture requires. A soil test should cover pH value, compaction, soil composition, nutrient components, organic matter, and insect populations. Some tests will cover more, but those are your necessities. Knowing these qualities will help ensure the health and prosperity of your pasture in the future. 

Step 2

After you know the basic information of your pasture you can pick out a seed that will meet the requirements of your soil and the nutritional output for your livestock of choice. The planting time will vary depending on the type of seed you have chosen. Follow the instructions for planting the seed. Watch as your pasture comes to life and creates a healthy and functioning ecosystem. 

Fertilization

Sometimes plants require being fertilized. This will vary depending on the type of seed you have chosen, your environment and soil needs. It's a common misconception that fertilizer is used on the plant when in fact what you are fertilizing is the soil. Plants create their own food through the process of photosynthesis. Photosynthesis is more successful when the plan as the proper nutrients in the proper amounts in the surrounding soil. The plant pulls the nutrients up from the soil, puts these nutrients to work turning sunlight into food and they live happily ever after. Fertilizing is often not necessary. Your soil test will help you decide if it is something that your pasture requires. Knowing what nutrients are lacking in the soil, and if the type of seed you have chosen requires more of those nutrients helps you make a better decision on what mixture of fertilizer to use. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer for best application. Take caution not to cause a fertilizer burn. Synthetic fertilizers often lead to fertilizer runoff, which can result in more problems, choosing a natural fertilizer is the smarter option. 

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