You may get a break from lawn or pasture mowing for a few months during the winter, but that does not mean you should do nothing at all. Put on your rubber boots, and some thick gloves, and get started on the winter pasture management tips mentioned below. There are probably already a thousand things you do to get your pasture or meadow into shape before the spring, adding these to the list will add to your bottom line. Don’t forget to add your tips at the bottom in our comment section.
Weed out the weeds
If you have patches and tufts of thick clover, or other perennials growing in your lawn or pasture this winter, and your chief crop is not clover or other perennials, but lawn or pasture grass, winter affords you a good opportunity to do something about the problem. A non selective herbicide can be applied while the lawn or pasture grasses are dormant, and this will prevent the need for using a selective herbicide when the grass starts to turn green and you realize the problem exists. If you do this, do not think that using more than the label suggests will assure better results, because it will not. What you could end up with instead is a patch of bare ground due to “salting out” the spot, so follow those label directions, and avoid the problem. Remember, the label is the law!
Prepare for the running of the bull thistles
In many areas of the south, early spring brings on a crop of bull thistles, so if you intend to do anything about them, you should start planning for it now.If you had a small thistle crop last year, you will likely have a much larger one this year, and they are much easier to treat when young and tender, before the stalks start to show. Having the right chemical on hand, or enough manpower if you want to do it manually, for immediate treatment when the conditions are just right may mean the difference between getting rid of them altogether, or having an even bigger problem the following year. Order your chemicals, or start enlisting friends now!
Increase your pasture size without increasing property taxes
Winter can also be a great time for removing brush, weeds, and rubble. Most pastures and meadows I see could almost double in usable space just by cleaning up fence rows. Imagine adding from a 25 to 100% more hay or grazing area to your property simply by “taking out the trash”! You probably already fertilize the area, so stop fertilizing the weeds, and take advantage of the expansion.
Get your equipment into the shop, and make sure that everything is in tip top condition. It is always a pain in the rear to go to start a tractor and find that it won’t crank to save your life. This can cause you to lose momentum and valuable time. There are fluids to check, batteries to test, minor repairs to be made, and lubricating and sharpening to be done. While you’re at it, check your power and hand tools as well. You may need that chainsaw to clear some brush, and if your shovel is missing, you should know that before it is time to use it.
There are hundreds of things to do in preparation for spring, these 4 tips are just the tip of the iceberg. You probably have some great ones yourself, and since we shared with you, it’s only fair that you share with us and the other readers. Write a comment containing your favorite tip in the comment section below this article, and help someone else.