September 6, 2012

Aerating And Seeding For Better Hay

Because I have five horses and three miniature donkeys, it’s crucial that I have a steady and reliable supply of hay.  When I moved to my farm in Bedford, three separate areas were designated as hay fields and they were planted with a desirable hay field mixture of timothy, orchardgrass, Kentucky bluegrass, ryegrass, and clovers.  Hay production was going quite well until a couple of years ago when certain unwanted noxious weeds began to take hold.  One weed, in particular, grows spiny thorns that no mammal would want to ingest.  We are now in the process of hopefully eradicating those weeds.  Soil samples have been taken to see what organic fertilizers, if any, should be used next spring.  We were also advised by our friends at Compostwerks that now would be an excellent time to aerate and seed the hay fields and run-in paddock.  Aeration is important, as it loosens compacted soil, increases oxygen into the soil, and allows for better water penetration.  And applying desirable seed may help to choke out those noxious weeds.