Many farmers and gardeners spend precious time and energy digging and prepping land for crops. If you own pigs, sit back and let them do the work for you!
Hogs can do wonders for your garden! You can utilize their urge to dig by fencing them into a potential gardening spot for a few days. Pigs can plow a garden, work up a grassy plot for future planting, or even clear a weedy piece of land for use as a pasture or gardening plot.
Various farm animals have natural tendencies that can often be very good for a garden. Using farm animals to help you with your gardening is not only good for your plants and soil, but it is also good for the animals because it gives them the ability to roam and do what they do best. One example of this is the distinctive habit of a hog to uproot the ground by lifting and turning soil with his nose.
Utilize your pigs urge to dig by fencing them into a small area for a few days and watch them dig a garden, work up a grassy plot, or clear a weedy, brushy piece of land. Pigs can also smooth out rough sections of earth.
New gardens planted over former hog lots are usually very productive and healthy. Right after the time of harvest, garden plots are an excellent place for pigs. Your hogs will make good use of any extra produce found on the plot, while also fertilizing the area with rich manure. They will work up the ground, mixing any minerals in the subsoil with organic matter in the topsoil.
The most important part of the process is making sure you have a hog-tight fence. Pigs are very intelligent animals who are also very good at escaping through fences. Electrically charged wires are easy to set up and if installed correctly, do the trick in keeping pigs inside any fenced area. If you do not want to use an electric fence, you can also use woven wire that is at least 32 or 36 inches high. It is important to remember that the smaller the plot, the higher the barrier around it must be. This is because pigs become more and more determined to escape the smaller their living space gets.
The pigs should have temporary shelter during their stay in the garden, especially if there is poor weather. You can use a portable wooden structure, an easily constructed hut out of straw bales, or any other option that keeps the animals warm and dry.
Be sure to harvest all the vegetables you want for yourself before you let your pigs into the garden. The pigs will not miss anything and if you do not fully harvest, they will get to any veggies you wanted for yourself.
One or two hogs will do the trick if that is all you own, but you can also use a larger herd of four or five younger animals for a medium-sized garden. You can transport the animals in a hog crate or lure them into the vegetable patch with a pan of feed or milk. Once the earth has thoroughly been worked over, the hogs can be moved back to their pigpen. How long it will take depends on the number of pigs and the size of your plot. If plenty of waste vegetables are available, the pigs will not need much additional feed, but they will need their usual amount of fresh water.
If you are trying to use your hogs to dig up sodded land for a new garden or pasture, they will need to be large because it takes muscle to turn over thickly rooted brush and grasses.
Using your hogs to help you in the garden is not only beneficial for you, it is also beneficial for them. You get to economize on tools, gas, and feed, while they get to eat vegetables and fresh roots, absorb valuable trace minerals, and exercise. The soil, plants, and pigs will thank you!