Sunday, March 15, 2009

Spring Ahead ......

OK, we did that "spring ahead" thing already. Now for that other spring activity, frost seeding. Frost seeding is when seeds (usually legumes --> usually clovers) are broadcast seeded onto "honeycombed" soils. Honeycombed soil is actually the frozen soil surface that we get in late winter/very early spring. As the ground surface goes through the freeze/thaw cycle, the seeds are pulled into the soil where they germinate. To frost seed at this time of year, you get out on the fields in the morning as soon as you can see where you're walking. The seed is loaded into the sack of a broadcast seeder. The white label on the bottom of the seeder is a listing of the settings for the seed opening for each type of seed that is used. By walking and turning the handle, the seed is broadcast over a wide area ..... we do our overseeding on thin spots in the pastures and areas where the sheep wintered on hay bales. This year, we're adding red clover and a "horse pasture mix" to different areas of our fields. Red clover grows quickly, provides plenty of forage, but as a biennial, it will disappear out of the stand in a few years. We also don't want red clover where we are grazing our ewes prior to breeding, but that's a story for another time. Walking around with a spin seeder is an excellent way to get in touch with the details of your pasture! You can see by the bright morning sunlight that the Wild Rose Farm ewes were wondering what the heck was going on out there so early ...... the pastures are just starting to green up in the background.
And another thing .... don't forget to clean out your bluebird boxes! We've already seen one bluebird around on a scouting mission. This box near the water tank always seems to attract a pair of bluebirds.

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