7 28 2013 cover crop and farm doings update

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted an update on my cover crops here at home.

There have been a few changes. I have grazed and mown and reseeded the little paddock in front of my front yard. The horses and the donkeys grazed in it for nearly two weeks. I took down the division fence and mowed it on Friday and yesterday I broadcast more cover crop seed and then ran over it with my spike tooth aerator…..We had a nice little shower last night…..

I did something different with this one…. Because it is almost too late for summer cover crops and a bit early for fall cover crops…..I planted both…… I broadcast half summer cover crop seed and half fall cover crop seed from a bucket of fall mix I had left over from last year…… Too early for any photos. Should have some buckwheat up soon.

Since I last posted, I have seeded two grazing paddocks after grazing. Both were with the summer mix. The first is nearly a foot tall and it is probably four weeks since seeding. The other is right out front near the road and it is up and just becoming noticeable.

Okay….here are this weeks photos with comment.

below is the most recent shot of the test row in my garden….recall that I just scratched a row in the grass in the garden and distributed some seed and covered it up. My garden maintenance is to mow between the rows…Dee Dee inspecting….
test row in the garden

below is one of a series of shots of the cover crop in the bull field….this one highlights a sunflower…they have just begun to make themselves evident….the sorghum sudan has been dominanting lately,
sunflowers blooming

below is a shot of buckwheat, soybean, fescue and rape
soy beans and buckwheat

My assistants have become camera hogs and showmen and are now showing off in front of the cover crop
showing off in front of the cover crop

The fence post in the photo is five feet tall….some of the sorghum must be nearly eight feet tall….
post is 5 ft tall

front and center is a pearl millet head….could not distinguish sorghum from millet until it headed….the sorghum sudan is the taller more open heads.
millet head

all in all I would call this field a sucess…mowed, seed broadcast and aerated with a spike tooth aerator.
I call it a sucess

this is an attempt at a shot of the whole field….I can no longer hold the camera high enough to get a shot beyond the first phalanx of plants
field shot

I planted this crape myrtle five or six years ago after losing a dogwood tree in the same spot….it has been slow growing but it gets prettier every year….really enjoying it this year. does not smell as sweet as the magnolia in the back yard in the early summer but it is even prettier.
crape myrtle starting to bloom

This is a shot of the cover crop buckets…they have pretty much stopped growing….I have to water them daily…the stuff is so thick in the buckets that I am sure they are really pot bound….there is a corn plant in one of them that is only two feet tall…and tasseling.
cover crop buckets

center of this photo is an ear of corn in the cover crop….now that it is tasseling and silking I can find the corn in all the sorghum sudan….

buckwheat and rape

Farm shots at the end of June 2013

This is just my weekly post of cover crops at the farm and other shots becasue I had a camera in my hand.

this first one is in a neighbors corn field….what this shows is depression of the corn crop in a low area by too much water….at least it was not flooded out and drowned as has been the case in many low spots….both corn and beans
corn suppressed by water in field

The multispecies cover crop in buckets….getting crowed in those buckets and even with all the rain we have had it is hot between rains and I am haivng to water these buckets….the buckets do have drain holes in the bottom so they do not hold water….
cover crop in buckets

This is the cover crop in the bull field….the white fence spacer in the photo is five feet tall…so the cover is jumping….this spot is near where we fed hay two winter ago so there are probably some residual nutrients there but the rest of the field isn early as tall.
cover crop nearly five feet tall

Day Lillies planted last year at Po Devils Grave….Po Devil was a blind old hound that Marie took in a few years ago…someone had dropped her because she was blind and old….she had a couple of good years in the house with us….
day lillies at Po Devils Grave

This is a shot of a small area near the cow barn….for years it was part of the yard and was mown weekly…finally I got smart enough to put up a little hot wire and let the livestock mow it…There never was much in grass…and I had to mow it after they grazed it….this winter I broadcast a clover mix over it…about five or six kinds of clover….the horse have grazed it twice this year and it has been mown once….it has not been touched in about a month and now there is bermuda and clover about 18 inches tall….
mixed clover and bermuda
another shot of the bermuda and clover patch.
mixed clover and bermuda 2

planted galdiolas around the dog graves last year and everyone told me they would not over winter…most of them have come back this year and Monte has the first ones to bloom.
Mnte has a Gladiola blooming

I planted some zinna seed in the flower border in front of the stable
pretty flower

this is another shot form th ewet area in my neighbors corn field….the corn stair steps up form two feet to six feet.
staristeps from 2 ft tall to 6 ft tall
just a shot of the sweet yellow clover in the bucket….I have a good bit blooming in another field where I had planted some cover last fall….hopefully it seeds easily.
sweet yellow clover

this is the standard weekly shot of the summer multi specis cover crop swon in two parts in the bull field….about 4 feet tall and some sunflowers are beginning to show up….soybeans and cowpeas cannot be seen for the buckwheat….
the bull field sown in two parts

this is the MSCC row planted in the garden…did not have time to mow the garden this weekend because I worked Friday and went riding Saturday…

weekly shot of the test cover crop row in th egarden

another shot of the zinnias
zinnias at the stable

Hopefully I am going to make a visit to some of our producers summer cover crops and get some photos this week.

Buckingham Appomattox Ride

Stewart and I went on a nice Ride Saturday. We were supposed to meet up with Jim Blanks and Zane Britton….We had a malfunction of the GPS and Dorothy took us into a dead end gravel road where we had a heck of a time turning Stewarts gooseneck trailer around in a small fishing trailer parking lot. The lot was access to abeautiful lake but it was steep and small….we finally got turned around and got out but all confidence in Dorthy was gone….We finally found an equestrian parking lot with a picnic shelter and corral and we stopped there….Blanks and Zane were in a different part of the park and when we talked to them all agreed to just ride out and perhaps we would meet on the trail….

Stewart took my camera and took a couple of photos of the suffering that Perkins must endure. One is a good photo of Perkins and one is a better photo of me…..


this is a shot of one of the trails….this park evidently gets less use than many we ride at….which appealed to me…Holiday Lake State Park is located within the Appomattox Buckingham State Forest….my analysis is the park has better trails but the forest has more trails….but sometimes the trails in the forest become a gravel road. In fact one ended on a paved road with no signage. Fortunately my GPS pointed the direction back to the parking lot and there were good wide grassy shoulders to ride along the road.

Perkins and Loretta always take turns leading….When Loretta leads she walks out but when Perkins leads she just ambles along behind him….Loretta still admires Perkins and nickers for him when ever he is out of sight….turn them loose and they walk around side by side….I think Perkins likes Loretta better than old bossy back home too…(Star Baby)

Another shot of the trails

In the state forest there are all kinds of tree management….these were some very tall pines we rode along beside….

Stewart and Loretta


Stewart and Loretta leading out…

my GPS map of the area we rode….11.3 miles most of it beautiful but one pretty good stretch of gravelled logging road….and we had not put the boots on so the ponies had to go slow and we tried to put them off the road as much as possible……all in all we want to go back….it is a little more than a two hour haul and a little long for a day trip. But now that we have been there we found a better way in than that lying Dorothy took us..does not seem to be any equine camping down there but we think we have a plan for that. Something like thirty miles of trails all together including one all the way around holiday lake which we have not been on yet….