resodding with prarie grass

Asked August 12, 2017, 1:04 PM EDT

My name is Lee Ooley and I live in Colo. Springs.

I am the conservation chairman for the Pikes Peak gun club / Izaak Walton league chapter 34.

We are in the throws of harvesting lead shot, which is an accumulation of many years of trap and skeet shooting. The process involves removing a layer of top soil and separating shot from the soil. The top soil will be returned to its site once the harvesting is over.

My concern is the erosion of the area involved. I think that it would be appropriate to plant some wild grass in order to stabilize that area over the next two or three years. while the native grass takes over.

We are talking about five to ten acres, I think !

Being a city dweller I have no idea of where to start in terms of what grass, how to sow it how much seed per acre, and just knowledge in general.

As a side, we have several quail on this site that depend on seeds and bugs, and we want to keep them happy.

Any information would be appreciated, thank you

El Paso County Colorado

1 Response

Hi,
Anytime the ground is disturbed, it is best to reseed it, otherwise you will just end up with all weeds. Since you have an erosion concern and you want the area to provide food for quail habitat, I would recommend doing this in small areas every year. But perhaps that's not an option.
Either way, ideally you would reseed with native grass seed mix using a grass drill. You can hire people to seed, which may be the best option if the funds are available. Other option is to broadcast the seed, which would make more sense if you were only doing a small section every year. Timing of seeding is also important, without irrigation, it's best to reseed from mid-Novemeber to mid-March.
Take a look at the general grass seeding guidelines here for more details (go to the Reseeding tab) https://sam.extension.colostate.edu/topics/pasture-range/

The El Paso Conservation District will be a great source for you to determine what seed mix is most appropriate for the soil type and you can order seed through them. They will also have a list of local contractors who could do the planting.
http://elpasocd.org/