|Our pigs have done a lot toward eliminating the ground ivy.|
Much of it is just lying loosely on the ground.
They haven't done a perfect job, but they've made better progress than we ever could have done. Results are pretty inconsistent, but what they do get, they really get. Apparently they are eating part of the root system because after it lies uprooted for awhile, it dies.
|Pig killed ground ivy|
As every gardener knows, tilling, plowing, hoeing, even had pulling of weeds isn't this efficient, because if some bit of root system is left behind, the weeds don't waste any time taking over again. The timing was perfect, however, because it is time to plant for winter pasture. Once Dan had the front porch torn down and the roof supported, we moved the pigs and goats out, got to work.
|Raking up the pig-pulled ground ivy|
The above attachment came with our walk-behind tractor. I would have thought it's a cultivator, but it was advertised as a rake. It was perfect for raking up what the pigs had turned up. The chickens got this.
|Ground ivy for chickens. Well, not the ivy, but they found stuff in the dirt!|
Dan disced it too, and then I planted with a mix of orchard grass, ludino clover, chicory, and deer forage seed (contains things goats like: wheat, annual rye, oats, brassicas, clover). I added saved garden seeds such as peas, kale, radish, and parsnip, plus herb seeds I'd gathered from my herb garden: thyme, yarrow, echinacea, marjoram, and mint.
|The camera lens makes it look much more expansive than it really is.|
I planted the two ends of the field, where the ground ivy had completely taken over. I'm guessing it will take over again, but thanks to the pigs, we've been able to reclaim it for awhile.
This is one of two pasture areas we're working on. The other is the buck pasture, the one Dan plowed earlier this month.
|As you can see, it's a lot more work without the pigs!|
It's doing beautifully.
I had the deer forage seed first so I planted it first. The orchard grass is just beginning to sprout and grow.
Now we have to wait and pray for the right amount of rain to get things growing. This will be winter and spring forage for our goats. The orchard grass is a perennial and I'm hoping it will last for several years without being overrun with the ground ivy.