Starting pasture grass/clover

Asked June 4, 2014, 11:10 PM EDT

We have an area (maybe about 1000 sq-ft) that we just cleaned off and leveled that we would like to get some sort of grass and clover planted on before the weeds take it over again. At this point in the year, it seems that it will be hard to get anything to sprout without impossible watering schedules. It was suggested to us to plant oats mixed with clover and/or grass seed, and that the oats would come up fast enough that it would help to keep the ground shaded enough for everything else to take. Is there a suggested way to do this?

Mesa County Colorado

1 Response

You are correct that now is a difficult time to try and establish grasses and clovers. No matter what you seed, it is going to need to be watered to promote germination and establishment. If you add oats to the mixture, they will come up relatively quickly and help with weed suppression and shading of the soil, but you have to understand that they will also be competing for available soil moisture. If you add the oats, seed them at a very light rate (one pound per 1000 sq ft would be more than adequate). If you can wait to seed, the better option would be to control any weeds that emerge over the summer and then seed in mid to late August. By that time, the days are beginning to get shorter and cooler which lessens the amount of water needed to get the grasses and clovers established.