Hello, we have our pigs in some woods which we have partally cleared (cut out lots of junky trees to help the good trees do well). We're sending some to slaughter and fencing some other ones in a smaller area (naughty piglets need some containing and hot wire training). The main area where they hang out is kind of a mess (some erosion, a gross stinky boggy area near the feed trough) and I'd love to seed it and let it rest. What would be a good choice? I think it's still too woodsy for grass, but it would be good to see some growth there and give the pigs something to eat the next time they're rotated in. I am a rubbish gardener but willing to give anything a go! We are in western North Carolina, so it's pretty hilly.
Bermuda grass grows well just about anywhere. My pigs just rooted up an area of almost and acre, going to use a grass and herbal mix to reseed it. Dutch white clover, chicory, burnett, Bahia grass, Bermuda grass, crimson clover, and for winter, rye grass.
give them a variety of plants, that will keep them interested and provide better nutrition than just a monocrop situation.
We plant squashes, rape, brassicas, grasses, broad leafs and buckwheat by broadcasting.
We use all the squashes by the way, pumpkin is a great natural wormer cantaloupe is a treat that they might let grow to fruit.
The more variety you plant, the better your pastures will become and as long as the plants aren't thorny types the hogs will eat them with gusto.
Thanks you guys! There's actually two volunteer watermelon plants coming up from their poop right now! I was just worried because it's so wooded if things would do well enough in the shadyness, but I love the "throw a bunch of stuff at it and see what works" approach. Basically my approach to most things.
Pigs can be pretty tough on woodlots, but there's also typically a lot of seeds within the soil (seed bank) that will germinate. It may be wise to let it lay fallow a bit and see what comes up before overseeding with grasses or cover crops.