When discussing pasture grasses and forbs with my friend at the Ag college I was amazed that he suggests Bermuda Grass so highly.
Having just re-seeded a portion of my pasture this previous spring, I was aware of the many grasses in the mix. Bermuda was present, fescue, blue grass just to name three but the Ag college is now suggesting a planting of solely Bermuda Grass for some types of pasture.
I keep a small heard of horses and occasionally a rescue or whatever goat. These critters live in a five acre pasture that was present when I bought the farm. The previous farmer had over-used the pasture and I have been trying to bring it back to some respectable version of what I think a pasture should look like.
The reason the past farmer was so abusive to the land was purely financial. He didn’t want to take time and space to rotate grazing out there and so I am dealing with compact ground and weeds that could have been managed earlier. Oh well, in the past few years the beat down old pasture has become something that my critters love to be in.
My astonishment with the suggesting to use purely Bermuda Grass has prompted me to go 100% BG in my next rotation of fencing off an acre for rejuvenation. Since I bought the place I have been rotating one acre out of grazing. I have met success by fencing an area off, testing soil, balancing pH, and planting seed in the spring with no grazing until mid summer. So far the horses love being turned back into an acre of un-grazed land and the entire pasture has benefited.
From what I read about Bermuda Grass, it requires full sun and does not do well in northern cold climate. It has a deep root system that can help hold land on a slope and because of these roots, is more drought resistant than other grasses.
Of course, pasture management is a science and may produce some unwanted results, but I am very eager to see what my pasture looks like after ten additional years of my management. Certainly giving a fifth of the pasture a break each spring gives it time to grow full roots and work on naturally balancing itself without my critters stomping around and eating the balance.
Time will tell if my Bermuda Grass pasture is as good as the mixed grass portions in my climate. I hope to write about my success in the future.