I don't know if you have any farming experts but I would like advice on growing grass for hay-making.
Growing on my horse pasture - too weedy and not productive enough
Hey I am not familiar with the climate or soil conditions of Portugal, but I usually plant wheat after tractor as freshly tilled the soil... Just need good deep watering if possible about once week with average 27 degree celsius temperatures with low humidity... Can use the young plants for fresh green feed, once mature and dry, can harvest the wheat and the hay byproduct. So will not only yield hay but grains of wheat as well.
What kind of soil conditions do you have? Not so much in portugal specifically but where you are trying to grow?
We have acid soil and a mild, maritime climate. I don't want to grow wheat, but a mixed grass, high in Timothy because I have a laminitic gelding. How long does it take from seeding to maturity - am I too late for a July cutting? Could I just chain harrow and add seeds to existing pasture, or is this not a viable option?
Hello. I don't produce hay myself but i rent my fields, so i know a bit about it. Timothy is indeed what you want.An agronomist would be the best to tell you what to do to get the best from your soil and tell you the soil amendment needed.Timothy grow best with a legume (like white clover), well drained soil containing a clay loam if possible. It do well in acid soil and neutral. If too acid you may require a bit of lime.I don't think you are too late, but you must know that timothy require good fertilizer (animal or chemical). The stand take a bit of time to establish, so the first year you may need to plant an area a bit lager than the next year (first year /acre will be lower). At worst you may have to harvest short stem, so make a larger area than you need.You can't really grow that on a pasture where animal go grazing. It will hurt the pant root system and the stand will slowly disappear from the repeated eating.As it's for horse, you need to make sure no mold grow on it once harvested (this can kill horses). You must not grow this where you can get dust one the crop (like close to a dirt road) as it promote mold.Laminitis sure is a bad thing. You must remove any nutrition containing starch (wheat is a big no no). Your vet probably already said this already :) I hope your 4 legged friend get better soon.
i'm 35 and i never stopped studying and experimenting
So, if I wanted it to be OK for pasture after making the hay, what could I add to make it more hardy?
You could partition the pasture in 2 or more and let the hay recover a bit before moving the animals and cycle them like that.Many have few horses (at least less than cow or sheep), so it always depend on how many are present on you pasture particular surface. If the hay grow faster than the horses can eat they might stay in them. Also they must not run too much as it compact the soil and break the roots.
OK, that sounds good. I use a track system, so they only run around the edge, so the middle can be partitioned. Thank you very much for your help.