Category Archives: Land Management

4 Winter Pasture Management Tips

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

Thistle in pasture

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.

Equip yourself

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.

Your turn

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.


Land And Lake Management

There is a lot of land in the United States That is not being used. Some of this land is native habitat and conservation land, and that is great. Such lands serve multiple purposes meeting important needs like preserving native habitats for maintaining biodiversity, wildlife preservation, erosion control, and aesthetics, to mention only a few. I consider this to be productive, and this is not what I am talking about.

The fact is, that much of the land mass of the United States is owned by people who do not use the land to produce anything, but who bought the land with some vague vestigial sense of an agrarian lifestyle, but who have little concept of what that entails. The same is true with ponds and lakes.

There is an indelible imprint on the human psyche urging us to posses land and live near water even though modern technology has solved most of our agricultural and water delivery needs in most of the western world. It is primal self-preservation which spurs us on.

I will be the first to say that there is nothing wrong with this, and in fact, it may be wise in the event of a tragedy of some type, (don’t think that such a tragedy cannot happen) but what do we do with that land, and those bodies of water if you are not quite ready or able to plow yourself right into farming?

People love being near lakes.

Even if you are just saving the land for the day when some great disaster strikes, or until retirement, whichever comes first, you can’t just let acres of land and water sit idle. They will revert, and what they revert to will not be pretty! They must be maintained, just as our homes and lawns must be maintained, and most of us lack the knowledge, skills, and equipment to handle more than an acre or two of land or water.

Your options are, to do nothing, to do the work yourself, to pay someone to do the work, or to find creative ways to handle the opportunity. That’s where Home And Garden Press can help!

In our sections on Land Management, and Lake Management, we deal with these issues, and offer advice and creative solutions for the perplexing problems of property owners.

Pest Control Brush Weeds Rubble Clean Up

Pest Control Brush Weeds Rubble Clean Up

Part two in our pest prevention series.

To control pests through prevention the very best way to start is by clearing your property of the things that encourage pests. Simple, right? Weedy brushy areas are both cover and breeding grounds for pests.

Weeds

Weeds provide food for bugs and rodents. Mice like seed. Weeds have seed. Mice like weeds! Simple as that. The complexities of what each bug and rodent likes to eat, and how the interaction between all of them produces this buggy, weedy community would be out of place here, so let’s just say that weeds attract insects and rodents seeking food. Weeds also attract insects and rodents who seek cover from predators. So, between the food, and the shelter, weeds make a pretty happy hunting ground and breeding ground for small annoying creatures.

Naturally, the question comes up: “If they like weeds so much why don’t they just stay there and out of my kitchen?” The answer is simple: They think you may have a better life for them.

Brush

Fence Row Brush

Brush mixed with weeds is a sign that property is not maintained well. It usually means that it was cleared once, and has not been maintained or used since it was cleared. This makes for a more advanced pest community, and, yes, if you live nearby, they will advance to your doorstep! Clearing your property of such problem areas will advance your pest control program beyond what exterminators can offer.

Brush and weeds are not normal growth

A patch of brush and weeds is not a native habitat, it is the early stage of something that might become a forest in 30 years, but what it grows is rarely natural or native. Such situations are created by humans by accident, and rarely produce native plants in abundance. The only wildlife that is attracted to such an area is the type of wildlife attracted to other forms of human waste and garbage. Saving such areas in the name of saving the environment is not realistic. From my experience, what grows in cleared areas that are not maintained is almost always non native, biodiversity attacking, invasive and a threat to the surrounding natural environment.

Rubble

Rubble and rubbish are a big problem. These stacks and piles offer ideal homes for rodents, and the resulting snakes that feed on them. They also provide food and shelter for insects that would like to spend some time in your kitchen.

Roaches and decaying wood

The natural food of the roach is wet decaying wood. If you have piles or stacks of it around your place, you will eventually have roaches who will attempt to come inside your home for something a little more tasty. When they get inside, the roach population will grow commensurate with the availability of food. It doesn’t require a truly dirty home, a drop of grease will feed thousands of the little disease spreaders. Getting rid of rubble will eliminate most of the threat.

General cleanup

Things like tires, and buckets, disused pet food and watering bowls, and the old moon hubcap that you planned to build a truck around someday provide luxury accommodations for mosquitoes to reproduce. If you remove these things from your property, or store them properly, it will go a long way to solving problems with mosquitoes.

What to do

My advice is to clean it up. If you keep fire wood, stack it on a wood rack, preferably a foot or more off the ground. This will both preserve the wood, and prevent a lot of little things from becoming a big problem. If you have brushy weedy areas on your property, take an ax to the brush, and mow the weeds. Then keep it mowed.

Habitats

If your goal is to have a backyard habitat, work on the brush and weeds selectively. Get rid of the weeds by mowing them, unless there is a patch of truly native plant life that you want to save. Get rid of non native, invasive plants that will eventually take over if left to their own devices. Nurture and encourage the remaining native plant life, and you will be surprised at the results.

See part three in our pest prevention series: How Lawn Care Effects Pest Control