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Direct Sowing into Pasture during rains?

 
Posts: 213
Location: Sacramento, CA
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we got 4 pastures that are 4 acres each.

I wanted to plan some turnips with all this rain in Cali. I don't think I have to worry about drought this summer hopefully. I wanted to direct sow turnips, beets, or something. Anything that will go straight down. I plan to possibly harvest a quarter of the crop and leave the rest to rot in the fields. or get dug up by our pigs later on.  (we are ok with buying a lot of seed and it getting wasted)
Our pasture has been saved because every other week we drop about a quarter inch of wet leaves that are ground up from the lawn mower. instead of watering during the drought. We have tons of organic matter. been doing it for 5 years plus. We have a crap load of leaves since we are directly near the city.

My main question is any idea's of what I can plant out there with all that rain and mud. Directly into the ground to get a yield? It's our first time doing this because we just didn't want to gamble while we had no rain. We throw some seeds out there every year mix of different herbs and flower mix. also, vetch seeds.

pasture is mostly native grasses mix with  Perennial ryegrass, some vetch. We try and keep it as much native grass as possible. It's what does well in drought.

We have mini cows about 12 in our herd. 4 goats, 4 sheep, and some alpacas, we also have 8 tractors of rabbits running in tractor, ducks, chickens, and muscovy (a lot they are good drought birds), 10 tractors of cuy.

if anyone has any pictures of this direct sowing into the pasture. like what it should look like in stage or advise id be thankful.

peace be with you

-toks


 
gardener
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It's a yearly ritual for me. Not during rain, but just after the rain, while the ground is wet.

Before it rains and the seed gets washed away. After a rain and the wet ground helps it stick.

I've been very succesfull with annual rye and oats. Limited success with clover.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Location: Sacramento, CA
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wayne fajkus wrote:It's a yearly ritual for me. Not during rain, but just after the rain, while the ground is wet.

Before it rains and the seed gets washed away. After a rain and the wet ground helps it stick.

I've been very successful with annual rye and oats. Limited success with clover.



I've done a lot of cover vetch that way into our native grasses. The problem is I want a root crop badly. I thought about piling some hay out there and putting sweet potato slips in or something. I want something that will really punch down.
 
steward
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Daikon radish sounds like it might fit the bill. It has a large edible root and edible tops as well. And it can grow to 20" long, so it can really put a lot of organic matter into the soil if left in the ground. You can pick some and leave some in the ground. It's a cool weather crop, so it will probably prefer to be sown in the cool spring.
 
gardener
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daikon radish, rape, parsnip are all good, for deep roots that mineral mine for you; alfalfa, cereal rye, oats, barley are good choices.

All of these can be broadcast seeded just about anytime. The already established pasture will hold the seeds in place, rain will beat the seeds down through the pasture plants so they get soil contact.

Redhawk
 
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If you broadcast your seed immediately before you move your minicows into a paddock they will really get your seeds worked into the ground well.  Diakon radish is the classic choice here, but swedes even sugar beets (non-GMO of course) should work great for you.  Get them in now, it won't be raining for too much longer over there!
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Tracy Wandling wrote:Daikon radish sounds like it might fit the bill. It has a large edible root and edible tops as well. And it can grow to 20" long, so it can really put a lot of organic matter into the soil if left in the ground. You can pick some and leave some in the ground. It's a cool weather crop, so it will probably prefer to be sown in the cool spring.



thank you. that sounds really good. i wouldn't have tried it normally but we have so much lovely rain. Im willing to take a chance on some type of root crop out in the those pastures
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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Bryant RedHawk wrote:daikon radish, rape, parsnip are all good, for deep roots that mineral mine for you; alfalfa, cereal rye, oats, barley are good choices.

All of these can be broadcast seeded just about anytime. The already established pasture will hold the seeds in place, rain will beat the seeds down through the pasture plants so they get soil contact.

Redhawk



i was thinking about sunflowers, alfalfa, and rye mix. even though it's a bit too early for sunflowers. how much alfalfa seed has GMO in it? I want to buy the cheaper seed non gmo but I'm not sure i can get my hands on enough organic seed.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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I have not found any alfalfa that has been GMO'd. GMO products currently available are; Corn, Soybean, Wheat, Rice, Cotton, GMO treatments so far have been limited to "commercial" crops where herbicides are normally used just prior to harvest to get the plants to drop their leaves.

Grasses usually are not GMO since they have to dry on the stalk prior to harvest or are used for hay.  
Some farmers have used things like roundup and some even use insecticides which actually renders their hay not good for animals since the latest studies of glyphosate has show it to be carcinogenic.
Right now it looks like Monsanto, Dow chemical, Bayer and other agricultural chemical companies are headed towards (need more consumer demand to push it faster) forced retirement of their current product lines via sanctions by the USDA and FDA along with consumer decline of demand.
The more information that comes out against the BIG AG Chemical Companies, the better for humans and animals since it creates a cautionary mind set for those who normally would buy and use such products.
It also gives us, the proponents of More natural, nature inspired, non chemical farming methods, a huge leg up, because now those farmers previously resistant to our methods will start looking hard at how to incorporate at least some of them.


Redhawk
 
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Hej!
In a youtube video (Dr Jill Clapperton on soil health Mar 27,2013) Dr Jill Clapperton advises that when planting daikon into a field that's going to be grazed, you shouldn't sow more than a lb of seed per acre. Other than that, I get the feeling they're an absolutely brilliant addition to a pasture.
 
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Location: PNW
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Alfalfa is not predominantly GM as is corn, soy, canola and cottonseed although it is still a large percentage (I believe 30%ish). It should be fairly easy to avoid, just check the varieties.

I have not had success broadcasting into open pasture. Very little of what I spread came up. Last year I spread in front of the cows and sheep. I will see this year if it was successful. I have also heard of people adding seeds to cow feed (ex pellets or grain at milking time). It should pass through the rumen undigested and be fertilized with the cow pie. Seems brilliant! Has anyone had success with this method?
 
pollinator
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I'm in Wyoming. Barely any rain. Have had success just throwing radish, turnip and beet seeds on the ground.
 
Tokunbo Popoola
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thanks everyone for the help!
 
pollinator
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Bryant beat me to it (as is expected), but I would also recommend chicory in addition to his list. Can be had cheap(ish) right now since hunting season is over. I got some from Cabelas at 30% off. It is more expensive than annuals but you shouldn't have to plant more than once. I have spread about 100# of deer plot seed and the germination rates are as good as any seed I have planted. For stuff that is hard to establish you can do seed balls. I didn't do them this year but I think they would be more effective for clovers and other hard to establish seeds.  Radish and rape will establish very well from broadcast spreading. Alfalfa is finicky but the root depth is fantastic. Needs alkaline soil though... Bryant, if you are reading this, how do you inoculate using seed balls? Do you have to slurry inoculate after the plants are established? Follow up, since brassicas are nonparticipating in mycorrhyzal association, do you normally do compost tea for bacterial/nematode selection? I have a been doing some little experiments but I am not confident in my nematode identification and have been just assuming the soil will benefit from the tea.

I have test plots growing right now from the deer plot mixes, will have evidence pretty soon, still hard to tell the brassicas apart.  
 
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I have broadcast seeded grains and grasses into pasture many times,while the ground is wet. I let the horses stomp it in,or cattle when I used to have them.
I've had great success with it,although I have normally done these cool grains and grasses in the fall. I will be doing this with common Bermuda this spring.
I love to plant cool season pasture for the horses,although I now have two old horses who seem to be sensitive to the high sugars in them.
I've not tried brassicas. This year,I did throw down some deer plot mix which had chicories,radish and clovers plus rye. I haven't seen much come up but  it was pretty dry this winter and my pasture is badly overgrazed. I'll try that again next fall since I think the goats will appreciate it.
 
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just a quick note, sunflowers are alliopathic, i personally wouldnt use them in my pasture.
 
pollinator
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A few notes on Daikon. They are day length sensitive and show best root development if sown after the longest day. Otherwise they tend to flower and just go to seed.

In cover cropping, people recommend planting peas at the same time as daikon. The daikon root then acts as a store of nitrogen obtained from the legume, and is released into the soil long after the peas are gone.
 
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