I am starting to hunker down and get serious about my currently free range pork that I want to turn into pastured pork.
I have a 2.5 acre parcel that has been essentially allowed to go "back to nature". It was previously used for horses, and vastly overgrazed.
My plan is to do the following:
Section the pasture into paddocks.
Let them loose to till/fertilize.
Seed next year.
Voila! Pastured pork.
My question is - I am in Ohio,.zone 6a (I think?)and am sure it's too late to do any type of planting/seeding? Plus, the oasture has had just.about zero care, and I am.thinking that a lovely layer of poop from the fertilizer fairies be a good thing.
I think you could seed behind the pigs and a couple sections ahead of where the pigs will be going. I am going to try some Russian Red Merlot Ameranth, purple top turnips and maybe some raddish or beets. maybe buckwheat.
IF you can save some lambsquarter seeds or purslane seeds you could seed that in next year. Pigs love lambsquarter, at least mine do. They like the ameranth and purslane too. I am in Ohio too. North Centra. I have American Guinea
If you have access to a roto tiller, you could get a few paddocks tilled and seeded and have time for them to green up. Split your pasture into paddocks, put the piggys in one to start their tilling and fertilizing , and go to work on the others. This year, it won't look like much but next year will be better and succeeding years will be better yet.
We seed by hand broadcasting with the mob, the storm and the frost all warm season long. Over seed a bit. Smaller seeds do better than larger seeds this way but even oats work. If seeding sunflower or other large seeds where grackles and other birds will steel try first seeding radishes a week or two before to create a non-tasty cover. Then seed the larger seeds.
soft grasses (bluegrass, rye, timothy, wheat, etc);
legumes (alfalfa, clovers, trefoil, vetch, ect);
brassicas (kale, broccoli, turnips, etc);
millets (White Proso Millet, Japanese Millet, Pearl Millet);
other forages and herbs.
Exactly varieties will depend on your local climate and soils. I avoid the grasses and such that turn toxic with drought, frost or other stress as they make our management system too complex.
I prefer perennials or things that self-reseed. Some things labeled as annuals are-actually perennials in our climate because we get early snows that protect their-roots over the winter - e.g., kale, broccoli, etc.
In our winter paddocks we plant during the warm months things like pumpkins, sunflowers, sunchokes, beets, mangels, sugar beets, etc.
We blend seed by spreading a tarp, setting out barrels, pouring a little of each seed we want in the mix into the barrel and then when it has all the types and is about 80% full we close the barrel and roll it around to mix.
Seed companies we buy from: Johnny's, Hancock, High Mow, Bakers and a couple of-others I'm not thinking of at the moment.
I'm like Walter, I seed most of the year, just hand broadcasting anytime I am in a paddock.
I have 2.5 acres that I'm getting ready to seed for new pasture and since my biggest issue will be watering the new seeds I may have to wait for early fall (mid September to early October) when our fall monsoon season begins.
Once I get the water line run to this new pasture, it will be seed as usual since I will be able to turn on the rainbirds to keep the new seeds at the right moisture for sprouting, once they are going well I can leave it be since this is a forest pasture with lots of trees.
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