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From Low to Lush

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Back in April we noticed so much of the farm was a lot of brown broomsedge, dull grasses and an infestation of small growing bradford pear trees. Short answer…no place for cattle. In reading about broomsedge, you’ll find that having a lot of it is an indicator of poor soil fertility. Generally you’ll find an infestation of broomsedge is the first and biggest indicator of a very low pH in your soil. You can see in the photo below how much we had all over the pasture.

Broomsedge – the tall light brown vegetation

In late April, the UGA Extension office came out to do a soil test so we could get a starting point and start the pasture back on the road to recovery. Three tests were done – using a small soil auger in different parts of the pasture, and no surprise, the pH was 5.1. 5.1 isn’t just low, it’s almost off the scale of bad.

Luckily there is a fairly easy fix to bring up the pH of soil, and that is the application of Limestone, 14.685 tons TONS of it to be exact, spread by our local company Woodbury Fertilizer. The lime was spread on May 20.

Over the last two months, we’ve watched the pasture change. The grasses are different, the broomsedge is gone. Wildflowers are in residence. Tall lush pasture grasses are starting to grow again. It is so exciting to see!

We’ll get some more Limestone put on in the fall, then the plan is a controlled burn in January/February by the forest service to get the last of the bad weeds and vegetation out of the pasture. I can’t wait to see it in another year!

Here’s some photos I’ve taken in the last three visits – you can see how beautiful the pasture is getting.

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