A Unique System of Covering Drought Destroyed Pastures with Compost and Woodchips to Protect Light Soils and Newly Seeded Grasses
Our plan was to plant at least half of the pasture strips this last spring (2006). We purchased 70 ton of compost and 160 cu yards of wood chip mulch. We had some moisture in March, but then it turned dry again. We measured the planting strips in 32 foot spacing and hoped for rain in April. We took several soil core samples and there was no sub-moisture in the top 2 feet of soil. The small amount of native grass that is left didn’t even green up last spring. We decided to try a fall planting. During June we completed a pasture cross fence to protect the planting pasture. Unfortunately the fall rains didn’t come! We ended the year with 6.28 inches of total precipitation until we had our Christmas blizzard. This December snow is the first time we have had more than .4 inches in one event since last March 12th.
The lesson that we learned is not to wait for the rain before proceeding. We didn’t want to gamble with expensive seed, nor did I want to disrupt the soil. This spring (2007) we will plant the seed and pray for rain.
Work plan for 2007: Plant strips of pasture grass 32 feet apart.