Posted on: 15 June 2017Share
For new horse owners and perhaps those who aren't used to having a cool-season pasture for their horse, caring for the grass, alfalfa and other good nutrients your horse needs can be a challenge. During the summer months, some spices of plants and grasses do grow very quickly and you often can get problems with weed growth too. Here are some tips to care for your cool-season pasture during the summer months.
Mow Pasture When Needed
Just like when owning a house, when people will mow their lawns on a regular basis, even once or twice a week, many farmers will also mow their pastures just as often. This does keep the farm work on schedule so any farm hands know when to do certain chores, but it isn't always necessary. If you have a healthy pasture with very few weeds, you only have to mow it on occasion and only when needed. When grass matures, they produce seeds and if you mow down these seed heads, they won't grow again should your pasture only have cool-season grasses. This can reduce the quality of the grasses in your pasture.
Don't Fertilize Too Often
While fertilizers are very important for your grasses and alfalfa seeds to grow properly and to keep healthy, weeds also thrive on it. Instead of applying fertilizers during the summer months when you have cool-season grasses, only apply it during the fall or early spring months. This will encourage the cool-season grasses to grow during the warmer months, but will not promote the growth of any weeds during the same time. You can apply fertilizers that contain potassium or phosphorous if you feel your grass is not growing as well as you would like during the summer but avoid nitrogen filled fertilizers.
Prepare for Fall
The majority of any improvements or major maintenance of your pasture should be done during the fall. This is when your cool-season grasses will grow the most and most weeds will cease growing. During this time you can over-seed the property or re-establish areas that might have gotten bare from the horses over-feeding in those areas.
If you are planning on applying herbicides during this time, only choose ones that are safe for young seedlings and established grasses alike. If you are worried about your grasses being affected by any spraying or seeding you plan to do, then do this chore during the spring time when the grasses are starting to slow down their growth and your herbicides will not affect them as much.