Friday, March 12, 2010

False Starts and Overseeding.


The rain was coming in yesterday, so we switched our schedule to working outside in the morning and doing school in the afternoon.

We were going to dig out this French drain above the pool, but decided to wait until we get some rigid pipe. That will be necessary where the pipe extends into the lawn where we'll have to mow over it.

Instead we decided to overseed some grass into the horse pasture. Last year, with all the change in weather back to a more typical amount of rainfull for this area, our native grasses came back full force. It was thick and lush all summer long. We rejoiced at the carpet of bounty.

It looked like this in the horse pasture all spring and summer,

But by October 21, it had already gone into hibernation.

What we thought was going to be ample feed for the horses all winter turned out to be a greater loss than ever.

So I bought a huge bag of Kentucky 31 grass seed for the horse pasture, hoping to grow feed for the horses. We walked out and realized that there was no way seed would take on that ground, even with rain coming, without somehow scratching it up.

Michael came up with a great idea and began working on it.

He always looks forward to riding his bike around the place, from chore to chore, when the weather warms up.

I captured some shots of late winter flowers in the lawn.

And here is the nearly finished product. A small, simple, home made harrow.

Nails every inch, protruding about 1/2 inch out. And eye hooks for rope attachments.

Running rope through.


Ready to go!

We took off and, though the first few feet worked perfectly...

We soon discovered weaknesses in our plan. In our test area, it tended to rake debris and lift the nails too high, so that no scratching of the surface took place. Also, the rocks bent the little nails.

We decided to finish the testing down in the actual place we'd be using it. It worked better here, but the nails were obviously going to fail very rapidly.

It had already begun to rain and we'd gotten nothing done outside, for all our work and delaying of school.

We decided to at least get some grass in somewhere, until we could decide if we were going to build a harrow that would be much stronger and better suited for the job. So Michael mowed the lawn around the house very closely

while I began spreading seed in the hope of having a thicker, healthier lawn this year.

I've never been enamored with this spreader and, as usual, gave up on it and began spreading seed by hand. In the wind. In the rain. I love a challenge! We got half the lawn done before the rain was so bad we were dripping and seed was sticking to us all over.

This week has been exceptionally busy and we are losing two days at a Hunter Safety course, so we were really hoping to accomplish more by this time.

We did school and took off for Michael's men's group. We ladies stayed at another place and watched The Last Sin Eater, knitted, snacked and chatted. I really needed caffeine as I resembled more of a lump on the sofa than a perky conversationalist. Fell in bed last night after midnight again.





  1. Better take a nap this afternoon before this loooong course ahead of us! I still don't know if I'll be able to go or not...

  2. it was a good idea, but too bad it didn't work very long :(
    only thing i can think of to try is a bunch of spikes pounded in- a few inches apart, 3 rows staggered and then mount something heavy on it... but i think the spikes will cost more $ than it might be worth.
    well, i hope the seed takes for you!

  3. Nice post. Last year we seeded an acre so the calves would have some extra grazing. Turned out we had the worst drought in South Texas in 100 years, so all that work and the cost of seed was wasted. Yesterday, we seeded a very small plot in hopes it will turn out. Luckily due to the rains the last few months the acre is putting out some grass mostly weeds, well at least it’s green for first time in 18 months.

  4. Oh.My.Word. I'd have had to have a nap somewhere in there! You two certainly are busy getting things prepped for spring! It's hard to believe we can actually put some lettuce in the ground in less than 4 weeks! YIKES! Think you could spare Michael for some yard work over here in Michigan???

  5. two have really been busy! I love it! I cannot is getting warmer, the sun is shining....outside work is on it's way!

  6. Kasie,

    Yay! You got to go! Michael is looking forward to hunting. I'm looking forward to having meat. And grass-fed, to boot! We'll have to talk to David about it. I don't want to go, really. LOL

    See you early manana!


  7. Icebear,

    Great minds... We have some spikes I was thinking about trying out, staggered. We'd need thicker blocks of wood nailed together. The spacing will have to be further apart, but I think if seed lands at least a couple of inches apart, it should do OK.

    We may try it out next week. We've got several projects that need doing, like YESTERDAY.


  8. Jim,

    It can be really hard to seed a large pasture. Hydro-seeding can work in some situations, but I'm thinking probably not in a place where there is already pasture.

    South Texas can be dry enough as it is. I hope you continue with good amounts of rainfall. Grass is the best thing for those calves. I think we are expecting 'normal' amounts of rain this year, but the question is, which normal...?


  9. Cyn,

    It's going to be on us like icing on cinnamon rolls before too long! LOL Seems winter lasted forever, now I know we'll be swamped with outdoor work from here on out. Funny how it is one way or the other. ;o)

    Yeah, I NEED a nap.


  10. SBF,

    Yay! It's getting warmer and I even noticed a little greener tinge to the ground this week. Amazing.


  11. WOW. I thought that was a really cool idea that your son came up with. We tried overseeding our horse pasture last summer, too, but didn't really notice any difference. Holly

  12. Sorry to hear your grass bummed out on you. That's a really great idea to break up the dirt. Do you make your own feedhay, or do you buy?

  13. Holly,

    That's what I'm concerned about. It can be really hard to do without some heavy duty tools, or a heck of a lot of labor. As for laying straw over the whole field... right. LOL


  14. Jo,

    I wish we had enough land to grow feed, but we don't. We have to buy whatever the horses can't graze, so it's important for our grass to have a long season.



I always enjoy hearing from others. If you become a regular commenter, I'll assume you are being friendly and pretty much comment regularly right back. :o) God bless and have a terrific day!