Pasture seeding

Asked March 24, 2017, 2:17 PM EDT

I'm wanting to seed my horse pasture in the next week or so - I was recommended "dry seeds" at approximately 10 - 15 pounds per acre. My question is what combination of dry seeds would be horse tolerant and work in Loveland Colorado?

Larimer County Colorado

1 Response

Hello,

There are a number of questions you need to consider before reseeding. I cannot make a recommendation based on your question. Is your pasture irrigated or dryland? What is your soil type? Are the grasses in your pasture fairly well established? Will you broadcast seed or drill? If you have weed pressure, you will need to treat the weeds prior to seeding or the weeds will outcompete your grass seedlings. The CSU Colorado Forage Guide will help you answer these questions before spending money on a grass seed mixture that may not be right for your situation: http://www.ext.colostate.edu/sam/forage-guide.pdf

If you have cool season grasses in your pasture, I would not recommend seeding with warm season grasses because the cool season grasses will outcompete warm season grasses. There are a number of recommended grasses in the Forage Guide for pastures, with information on palatability for grazing. Appendix A lists the suggested grasses for various sites, whether they are warm or cool season grasses, and what their moisture requirements are.

A word of caution on dryland seeding. The best time to broadcast seed is over the winter months when the seeds have the opportunity to make its way into the soil with snowfall. If you plant in the spring and we receive little moisture the grass will either come up and die without continued moisture or not germinate at all. Keeping your horses out of the pasture you reseed is recommended to allow the grasses to establish. Dryland grasses are ready to graze after they set seed. Native grasses take time to establish and it is recommended to allow 2-4 years of growth before grazing. Introduced grasses will need at least one year from seeding before being allowed to graze.

Considering your specific pasture situation will help you make the best decision on the type of grasses to reseed with. Once you decide the type of grass you would like, here is a list of seed companies in Northern Colorado: Arkansas Valley Seed, Denver www.avseeds.com; Granite Seed, Denver www.graniteseed.com; Pawnee Buttes Seed, Greeley www.pawneebuttesseed.com; Buffalo Brand Seed (formerly Sharp Brothers Seed), Greeley http://www.sharpseed.com/index.cfm/fuseaction/locations.locDetail/locID/2/index.htm