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Killing pasture - need a soil friendly option

Posts: 11
Location: Ontario, Canada
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Hi All,

I have 2 requirements to kill off some pasture - but need to be able to grow things once its been killed.

The first is I have pasture near my forest that I want to kill off to plant food plots for deer to help them through the winter. Ontario has a tiny deer herd and was wanting to put in some food for them.

The second is I want to plant switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) to create cover and bedding areas.

I put this in lawn as I dont want to use things like salt, as I need things to regrow in these areas.
I cannot use the cardboard / newspaper covered with soil method due to the size..

Anyone else who has done this (killed off vegetation and planted something) who can assist - I would appreciate some input
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If it were me, I would till it the first time and then get cover crops in as fast as possible.
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Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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How big is the area?  If there are farmers with silage tarps in your area, they can cover a lot of ground and kill whatever is under them.  Otherwise I like the till once and plant approach.  With tilling you often get clods of grass that resprout unless you remove them or have the new growth beat them at the game.
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Location: Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
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hau Cordell, first off, you don't need to kill anything already there since you want to create food plots for deer. (deer eat grasses)
Switchgrass will sprout and take over any area you plant the seeds for it in, the height of P. virgatum will shade out anything currently growing in that space or spaces which means those plants will die and become mulch until they decay into the soil.

There isn't really any need to till either, unless you really have the desire to spend extra money on fuel and the inherent costs of machinery up keep.
You might need to mow though so the current grass is short enough for the seedlings to establish.
Once the feed plot plants have taken hold, the lawn grasses will perish from being shaded out, the fact that they are there also allows for no erosion during that establishment period of the new plants.

So get out there and plant your seeds, if you need to, do a grass cutting first so your new seeds will be able to take off and get established. If the grasses are doing well, then you have a good microbiome going and there is absolutely no need to kill any of your current soil organisms.


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Arrg I've turned into a tractor farmer. Over the years. Kale is great deer food it lasts all winter. It's harder to grow. Hairy vetch will grow in grass even without mowing. Early mowing for vetch is good but later in the season mowing can promote grass growing again .
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