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  1. #21
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Looks nice. Both the seed mixes mentioned sound good and the one with alfalfa and clover would be high nutrition factor feed for the horses. How are you going to smooth and pack the soil when you seed? I've seen everything from a log chained cross-ways to roller packers etc.

  2. #22
    Platinum Member sd455dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Finally, just went down to the extension office (couldn't find a phone # ) and talked to the gentleman , about soil analysis- didn't remember that an extension office is part of the university not so much a state office?. Anyway he was very helpful, got the soil mail in kit , the cost is $35 and will tell ph ,whether we need phosphorous ,nitrogen ,lime, other things... and also got a flier, about the invasives- wife already found two more plant species that we will want to eradicate... Also working on a (bandaid fix) for the old 3 point tiller, if I can get it to run will sure help with the field corners and other tight spots..The extension office is time well spent, would highly recommend this step for people like us- that aren't well versed in field health. will post new developments as they happen
    Last edited by sd455dan; 03-28-2013 at 01:18 AM.

  3. #23
    Platinum Member sd455dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Quote Originally Posted by vtsnowedin View Post
    Looks nice. Both the seed mixes mentioned sound good and the one with alfalfa and clover would be high nutrition factor feed for the horses. How are you going to smooth and pack the soil when you seed? I've seen everything from a log chained cross-ways to roller packers etc.
    when you mentioned a log chained cross ways- it brought back old memories.
    When I was 16 my dad owned a 230 acre ranch and we had to level a couple of the larger fields ,dad had taken 3 full length telephone poles and cabled them together in a Z pattern. We had a Case 970 AGRI-KING tractor- it was the first tractor I ever drove and put a lot of hours on.
    Any way he had me out in the largest field pulling that big phone pole drag around ,I had my eye on the horizon and after a while it seemed like the tractor wasn't moving as fast although the engine hadn't slowed down one bit.. I looked back at the drag and it had pulled up almost 12" or so of dirt over the top all three logs the entire length of each, the tires had dug trenches all the way back to the drag and the rear axle was just about to touch the ground.. it took quite a while to kick off all the dirt, unhook the tractor re position it and get moving again. I found a new respect for that big Case tractors power that day- all that weight and dirt and the engine didn't even notice! but I digress, back to the thread
    Dug this up today,-spike-harrow-003-jpg pretty small but it might work to break the clods down, maybe look into the drag idea, built one out of a pallet and 2x6s for the area where my garage was to be constructed , will try to check it out tomorrow, the alfalfa sounds good ,that stuff is sure getting expensive to buy- at least here, but that is a plant it every year seed I believe
    Last edited by sd455dan; 03-28-2013 at 01:16 AM.

  4. #24
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Field is lookin' really nice! Couple of observations.. especially with regards to pastures and horses. Alfalfa and clover are problematic for horses. Your extension folk's can also help to verse you on this subject. Some species of clover are very bad for horses and alfalfa is too high in protein to be included in the horses diet at a high %.

    Secondly, one of my first pastures (actually 2) I had a nice fallow seedbed; planted everything the first week in November - 6" of new snow a week later. Got great germination the next Spring and a beautiful stand! Waited until early fall before I ever let the horses put a foot on those fields.

    Dang... they punched holes everywhere in those fields! I had already mowed the grass once, maybe twice, earlier in the summer and hauled the clippings off. The grass was probably 4" maybe 5" tall. Figured that the roots were solid enough... Nope, not even close - about every 10th mouthful - they'd pull the whole clump of grass up! Crap!!

    Long story - short. I ended up dragging the fields with a short-tined drag, reseeded (overseeded) and roller-packed - ROLLER PACKED - those fields with a 8' - 3,800lb water filled roller.

    You gotta pack that field. Seriously. They'll make it look like World War I out there...

    AKfish
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -roller110-jpg   -nicedirt110-jpg  
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  5. #25
    Platinum Member sd455dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Quote Originally Posted by AKfish View Post
    Field is lookin' really nice! Couple of observations.. especially with regards to pastures and horses. Alfalfa and clover are problematic for horses. Your extension folk's can also help to verse you on this subject. Some species of clover are very bad for horses and alfalfa is too high in protein to be included in the horses diet at a high %.

    Secondly, one of my first pastures (actually 2) I had a nice fallow seedbed; planted everything the first week in November - 6" of new snow a week later. Got great germination the next Spring and a beautiful stand! Waited until early fall before I ever let the horses put a foot on those fields.

    Dang... they punched holes everywhere in those fields! I had already mowed the grass once, maybe twice, earlier in the summer and hauled the clippings off. The grass was probably 4" maybe 5" tall. Figured that the roots were solid enough... Nope, not even close - about every 10th mouthful - they'd pull the whole clump of grass up! Crap!!

    Long story - short. I ended up dragging the fields with a short-tined drag, reseeded (overseeded) and roller-packed - ROLLER PACKED - those fields with a 8' - 3,800lb water filled roller.

    You gotta pack that field. Seriously. They'll make it look like World War I out there...

    AKfish
    Already caught **** from the wife, after she looked at my post about the alfalfa, was considering closing that field off and trying to harvest the alfalfa, but she just told me that ain't going to happen either I told her no matter what gets seeded there 's not going to be any horses on it either at least till it has had a chance to grow up good, she also said some of the other fields already have enough clover and something about the horses mouths going numb,(think thats what's happening to my head)
    any way I'm going to send off the soil sample in the morning and after walking on the field Definitely agree somehow going to have to pack the field eventually... My sister still has several implements , and a JD 550 crawler,bet that would pack it down, if I ran it up and down the field? not sure if my trailer or hers will haul it though,seriously doubt it -maybe I can rent a roller when the time comes... You've got me thinking....

  6. #26
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Quote Originally Posted by AKfish View Post
    Field is lookin' really nice! Couple of observations.. especially with regards to pastures and horses. Alfalfa and clover are problematic for horses. Your extension folk's can also help to verse you on this subject. Some species of clover are very bad for horses and alfalfa is too high in protein to be included in the horses diet at a high %.


    AKfish
    That's a new one to me but you learn something new every day. Growing up the team got hay that was a mix of Timothy , orchard grass and red clover. No problem that I recall. The only thing we had and still have here is a low fern my father called polliwog breaks that grew on wet poorly drained soil. It was poisonous to horses but they would sort it out of their hay and leave it in the end of the manger unless they were starving.
    My father also had a drag for smoothing up ground and setting in the seed. About twelve feet wide it was made of rough sawed two inch planks with the front 2x8 turned up 45 degrees and a 2x6 top in the front top . It had two interior bulk heads plus the ends also made from 2x8. The chain went through the third points and through a hole in the bulkheads and made an A to the teams evener clevis. To use it you stood in it using the driving reins from the team for balance. Be shifting your weight side to side and front to back you could keep it pretty much square and riding over the dirt like a boat on plane going over a pond. The first pass over plowed and harrowed ground would do a good job of filling in hollows and scalping high spots so you could mow it later. Then broadcast your oats and other seed and make another complete pass to set the seed. Never had any trouble with the horses punching it up later but this was well drained land good for growing strawberries and potatoes as well as hay. In June the next year the Timothy was as tall as the horses backs (Percherons).

  7. #27
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Red clover is fine for horses. White clover is not. If today's horses worked half as hard as Percherons of a 100 years ago... well, 50% alfalfa would be just fine. But, we all know what happens if you eat ice cream all day and watch TV!

    It's cool in Alaska.. even in the summer time. Temps in the 70's is what we have in June-July. Once in a blue moon, it'll jump into the low 80's and you'd swear that eggs would fry on the highway!

    So, my pastures never, really dry out. I mean dry, powder dry - like I remember from days in South Dakota. So, if your pasture isn't solid, with a real good sod cover - horses will just destroy it! And if you don't get 'em off of it when it's really wet and raining... well, you'll get plenty of experience re-doing the field.

    That said, northern latitude and mountain areas have similar environments to Alaska. Tend to be wetter in Spring and Fall with cooler average temps and shorter growing seasons. So, I'm bettin' that sd455dan would have pastures not far off the mark from what I've got. He's likely to have 6 weeks (3 weeks earlier in Spring and 3 weeks later in Fall before frost) more growing season than I've got and his summer high temps are probably 10 degrees warmer on average (low to mid 90's high in summer versus low to mid 80's).

    I'd still pack those pastures... with somethin'!

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

  8. #28
    Platinum Member sd455dan's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Today- was going to send the soil sample off but it has to be dry, and you can't use artificial means to dry it ...will send it off tomorrow.
    worked on the tiller and I think it will run at least for the corners and such...still looking into how to pack the soil...and the summers are about like AKFISH stated -still to much winter ...for me sometimes

  9. #29
    Veteran Member vtsnowedin's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Quote Originally Posted by AKfish View Post
    Red clover is fine for horses. White clover is not. If today's horses worked half as hard as Percherons of a 100 years ago... well, 50% alfalfa would be just fine. But, we all know what happens if you eat ice cream all day and watch TV!....
    .......
    I'd still pack those pastures... with somethin'!

    AKfish
    Well it wasn't quite a 100 years ago. The last time I hayed the place with the horses was 1973 when I was eighteen. It was hard work for both the horses and me. When you would stop to grease and oil the six foot cut IH mower the sweat would be dripping off the bellies of the horses like a leaky faucet. Except for race horses in training you seldom see a horse lathered up like that today. You'd start them out slow by doing a little logging first to get them back in training before hooking on to something they could break and let them build up muscles like any athlete. The muscles on their forelegs would bulge like a body builders biceps. No cab and AC on a horse drawn mower. Bees were fun to.

  10. #30
    Elite Member AKfish's Avatar
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    Default Re: First timer- field prep for field grass

    Quote Originally Posted by vtsnowedin View Post
    Well it wasn't quite a 100 years ago. The last time I hayed the place with the horses was 1973 when I was eighteen. It was hard work for both the horses and me. When you would stop to grease and oil the six foot cut IH mower the sweat would be dripping off the bellies of the horses like a leaky faucet. Except for race horses in training you seldom see a horse lathered up like that today. You'd start them out slow by doing a little logging first to get them back in training before hooking on to something they could break and let them build up muscles like any athlete. The muscles on their forelegs would bulge like a body builders biceps. No cab and AC on a horse drawn mower. Bees were fun to.
    I've got a few years on ya - but your experience's with workin' horses are way outside anything I've ever done with horses! But.. I have seen horses pretty lathered up packin' out moose hind quarters or caribou, though. And ground nesting yellow jackets up here will get you and your horses into a genuine panic... GENUINE - right now!

    AKfish
    "Most people want to live on top of the mountain, but all the happiness and growth occurs while you're climbing it."

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