Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Still Spreading Hay

We've got severe storms moving in tomorrow, potentially all day long, so of course erosion's on my mind. I've been picking up old round bales of hay too far gone or too weedy for cheap, $5 bucks a pop. I finally picked up a little 12 ft trailer on craigslist for a decent price; the trailer even has a ramp, so loading the hay rounds is a lot easier. We haven't been able to get a tractor yet, so any loading of round bales has meant a strong back and luring a unsuspecting friend over for a little "help".

There was a spot in the pasture across the creek that was looking a little bald. So I took a small round bale of hay out there and patched it up.

The Boston Mtns are especially susceptible to soil erosion, and our holler definitely fits the mold when it comes to the good stuff washing down hill. The spot above is a shale out-cropping that I drive up to get to the middle and top bench. The soil's so fragile there because, well there never really was any. So plastering the area with hay not only helps to keep the soil there, but makes a great seed bed for some fescue and some hardy weeds. The best thing about using the round bales is that there's always a downhill to help spread the hay! I've been sowing ryegrass and clover and it's germinating well in the hay. The rain coming up should get the rest of the seeds jump started into germination.

By the way, if I ever cut hay off someone else's land, I'm thinking it'll be square bales!

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