How bush hogging helps grass grow
Regular pasture mowing/bush hogging keeps weeds down and helps make a healthier pasture. Weeds grow faster than most grasses and if left to grow will choke out the grass. If uncut, weeds will also go to seed and spread. In this picture, you can see how high the weeds were on the left. Grass can’t compete with that. On the right, you can make out actual grass that’s easier for horses to find.
Some interesting facts:
- Bush Hog is an actual company. “Bush hogging” has become a common term for cutting with a tractor-drive rotary mower. Kind of like calling a tissue a kleenex, which is also a brand name.
- Rotary mower blades are similar to lawn mower blades but since the cutting path is so much wider, an end of each blade is connected to a large disc instead. A lawn mower typically uses one or two large blades that attach in the middle.
- Rotary mower blades are thick and tough. It’s common to accidentally run over rocks, chunks of wood, stumps, etc. Most of the time this doesn’t seriously damage the blades or the mower (though it’s best to not run over those things). Rotary mowers often use shear pins that are designed to break before serious damage happens. Shear pins are cheaper and easier to replace than entire gear boxes. Some mowers use a slip clutch that reduces the chance a sudden blade stop will damage the tractor.
- Although it’s most common to see one behind a tractor, you can purchase versions with an engine that work behind ATVs or UTVs or even self-contained gas powered units.
Common brands include:
- Bush Hog
- John Deere
- King Kutter
- Land Pride
- DR Power Equipment (self-contained string trimmer/mower)
We use a six foot wide Woods 720 that came with our tractor that does a great job of keeping the weeds down in our pasture. It is a pain to put on but we usually leave it on all summer anyway. Since we’ve been mowing our pasture regularly (once a month or so), our horses have spent more time eating fresh grass in the warm months.
If you have your own pasture, what are you using?