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Dilemma with seeding new lawn  RSS feed

 
Morgan Morris
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I want to plant cool-weather grass, specifically a tall/fine fescue mixture, with fall seeding being much more effective in this area. The thing is, where i plan on having a nice lawn has been overgrown weed fields with a ton of woody plants that would probably hurt if stepped on. I also plan on purchasing some pigs in the spring and would love to have them till up the lawn area and get rid of all the unwanted roots and vegetation before seeding. So which would be better, overseeding the garbage that now defines what will be my lawn this fall, or should i wait until next fall to seed grass after the pigs have done their work? If i overseed this fall, will it leave me with a nice yard to walk on next year, or do i need to completely get rid of all the woody plant stumps?
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
9
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When I started mowing walking paths in the pasture a lot of the woody plant "stumps" kind of went away and weeds were replaced with soft grass and clover. Of course the cattle like best to graze the mowed paths so they may have trampled them. So maybe this isn't helpful information. LOL!

When I first got pigs they dug a lot and made the ground so lumpy it's still hard to mow there (with my push mower) because the wheels are always getting stuck in ruts. It's just a paddock so it doesn't matter that much, but for a lawn you'd want it less lumpy, I think. If you think you'd like some sheep I think they'd like to eat most of the weeds for you and what I hear is they prefer them and will leave a nice grassy sward when they are done - they don't make ruts and their poos just kind of disappear (pig poos are similar to human ones).

Don't get me wrong, I love pigs and love having them and think everyone should have a couple, but for a lawn, I don't think they're the best animal.

I think it will go faster if you have some way of mowing or brush hogging from time to time - even animals who eat a lot of brush prefer to eat the new soft shoots over old woody growth, and in spring it grows so fast they can't keep up unless you have a pretty high stocking rate.
 
Morgan Morris
Posts: 8
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Hey, thanks for the response! When the pigs left the ground lumpy, was it feasible to go in afterward and level out the ground with hand tools? My CFO (wife) will want me to wait a while before getting a tractor, and It'll be a couple of years before i get cows and sheep.
 
Adam Klaus
author
gardener
Posts: 946
Location: 6200' westen slope of colorado, zone 6
65
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I think Renate offered good advice above. Pigs are going to make the area very irregular, with high and low spots, and still lots of woody weeds. Pigs dont really have much interest in woody material growing above ground, they are rooters, so I think they arent the tool for the job here. I dont think that it would be very agreeable work to try and level things out after the pigs are gone. In fact, I think the pigs might even make more work for you and not less.

Sheep would really be the ideal tool. If you could handle fencing and watering pigs, why not a few sheep? They would really be perfect.

A simple walk behind tractor like a BCS would also be an option, much better than a 'real' tractor for many reasons, but nevertheless inferior to sheep for your situation.

keep us posted, and share some pics if possible.
 
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