If you're located in the Northeast and you've decided to buy a few horses for your property, then you probably have spent a lot of time setting up the stalls and stables in order to protect the horses from the cold weather. However, it's just as important that you make sure the pasture land is set up properly. If you don't take care of the pasture land, then your horses will not have enough food to eat. So, with that said, here are a few things you need to do.
Making Sure The Soil Is Not Too Acidic
If the soil is too acidic, then whatever seed you plant will not take or won't grow optimally. So, before you set out to till and sow the soil, it's very important to get a reading of the soil pH. You can pick up a soil testing kit from the same farm supply store that sells the seed. Once you test the soil you will be able to determine if you need to add fertilizers that will bring down the acidity. Another common method to increase the alkalinity of the soil is to add substances such as lime or organic mulches.
Choose The Right Cool Weather Grasses
Once you have established that the soil has the correct pH level, you need to move on to picking the right cool weather grass. Certain grasses, such as Bermuda, are not suited for the cool weather. If you plant these grasses they won't take well and you will end up with a less than desirable pasture. Instead, choose something such as a Kentucky bluegrass (which is a perennial) or ryegrass. Warm temperature grasses might not survive the cold weather, so it will be very expensive to continually plant them every season.
Pick The Right Cool Weather Legume Seed
In addition to grasses, the pasture land needs to be sown with legume seed. This helps to improve the fiber and protein content. The best seed for a northern pasture is something such as alfalfa or clover. Clover is very resilient to acidic soil, so if you are having difficulty getting the alkalinity up, clover is a good choice. Clover can also tolerate areas where there is not great drainage. Alfala, on the other hand, does exceptionally well in times of drought. This is a great seed to use in areas where you don't get enough rain and don't have the ability to water the pasture land.
Click for more info on finding horse pasture seed for your new horses.