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We have an established pasture that has been taken over by buttercups! Does anyone know ...
  1. #1
    Senior Member LateBloomer's Avatar
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    Need Pasture Knowledge!

    We have an established pasture that has been taken over by buttercups!

    Does anyone know what is the best way to deal with this?

    1) Using a broadleaf weed killer, then re-seeding

    2) just re-seed and hope the new seeds will crowd out the buttercups

    The weed killer will kill ALL broadleaf weeds which will include clover and any other legume that is there. We will re-seed with a pasture mix which will probably put these back.

    Lime, fertilizer and what else to keep them from coming back?

    And how to re-seed? Is there a special machine we can rent?

  2. #2
    Senior Member+ 1rish's Avatar
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    We had the same problem, what we did was to aerate the ground, fertilize and spread seed in October, dont bother seeding with anything that has a legume, we use an Orchard blend. Then spray for weeds in the spring. This will kill off the buttercups before they have a chance to flower and give the new grass time to establish itsself. After that make sure not to overgraze, keep the grass between 3 and 5 inches long. Any shorter and the weeds will take over. Fertilize a couple of times a year and spray for weeds again in late spring to make sure to get any weeds the first spraying didn't catch.
    You can rent a tractor that has all the attachments you need for the various stages.

    Hope this helps, this is what we have done and our pasture looks better than our lawn without a weed in sight.
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    Senior Member+ 1rish's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention, your local extention office can do a soil sample and tell you what exact fertilizer you need.

    And keep the animals off of the pasture until the new seeds have grown tall enough to seed then mow and be careful how long the horses are out as they can tear up the new grass quite easily.
    Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

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    Senior Member+ BarebackJourney's Avatar
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    You could try reseeding. If you are a patient person, weed out ALL OF THEM and put salt where they were. This will stop them from growing back. But it would take a mighty long time!
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    Some of the reseeding depends on the type of grass you have, the base grass.

    Lime will help with buttercups. They also have a hardy root system and normally grow here where the ground is compacted. My theory is the roots of the desired plants have trouble with the hard ground, and the tough rooted buttercups take advantage of that. If, like mine, the buttercupps grow in smaller isolated areas, I use a renovator to break up the top layer of hard pan soil. This allows the roots of the desired grass to come back and choke out the buttercupps. When you see buttercups here, the grass around them is usually real short. This is because of the hard ground not allowing the roots of the grass to thrive.
    2-4-D is what I spray for buttercups (broad leaf as you mentioned). It will kill them.

    Our local CO-OP and farm stores rent a seed drill for $10 per acre (you need a tractor to pull it with).
    The seed drill cuts a small angled grove in the sod and deposits the new seed under the present sod. The new seeds are secure, will not wash or be eaten by birds.
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    1rish... Good advice. I type to slow, and could have stayed out of this one

    Very correct about aerate the ground.
    The truth may kill you but at least you will not die with a lie in your mouth.

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    Tim-
    I dont think we have buttercups down here...tons of other weeds though. Does frequent mowing help keep them at bay? I know that it helps a great deal with the bahia grass, to keep it thick and the weeds from taking over. Many feed stores in our area will test your soil for free to gauge whether its acidity, or if its alkaline (or neutral) in relation to your grasses needs.


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    We had bad creaping buttercup. Like Tim said the roots were all ove the place (made removing dropping a real nightmare. We used a selective weedkiller (Agritox ??) and then that killed most of them. We then topped (cut) the grass with a tractor and chain harrowed it. now the grass is short but we really don't seem to have any butter cup coming up

    It really does spread very quickly if left alone and it wastes a lot of pasture as the shade means that the grass doesn't grow through it.

    Good luck !

    .. Didn't you just love the days buttercups were something to pick and put in your hair as they were pretty .. ahh childhood memories
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  9. #9
    Senior Member LateBloomer's Avatar
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    Thanks everybody! Yes 1rish, I was also thinking not to plant any legumes, that way we won't have to worry about using weed killer.

    Thanks Tim, that attachment to the tractor was exactly the info I was looking for!

    Yes BB, I used to like buttercups, snow, vacations.....

  10. #10
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    The best way to deal with any weed or unwanted plant is to call you local extension office and ask them what they recommend. They will have the best knowledge of the weeds and soil type in you area, plus any restrictions on fertilizers and weed sprays. They will also be able to tell you what the best option would be for a grazed pasture. They do make really good weed sprays that are safe for grazing animals.
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