Best time to plant dry land pasture mix in Colorado

Asked October 22, 2018, 4:18 PM EDT

I am looking to help support my HOA in converting 96 acres of an old golf course back to native grass which has been infested with weeds. Primarily the old fairways.

The questions I have are how deep to turn the fairway to terminate the weed seed bed. Also the best time for seeding a dry land pasture mix. I was thinking April or May to insure the proper ground temperature. What about late March?

El Paso County Colorado

1 Response

The answers to these questions aren't simple, but a few comments and questions to start.

First, the "weed seed" bank will only be stimulated by turning over the soil (plowing, tilling, etc.). This CAN be a strategy if fallowing (letting weeds grow, then killing them, then seeding in to the killed weeds) is followed. But if the soil isn't horribly compacted, then simply killing the existing vegetation and seeding into it can be very effective (drill seeding). Other questions include: is the intent to use TRUE native grasses, or grasses that "look" native? Is there support for using herbicides during the transition to the "native" grasses? Will there be a level of patience with the process (these type of conversions often take 2-3 years before they "look native"... they sleep...then creep...then leap...each taking a year).

The weed control approach (tillage, herbicides to use) is also highly dependent on the weed species that are present. All weeds aren't the same, and require different approaches to management.

I would like to send you a fact sheet on the subject. The AaE system won't allow me to attach documents (don't ask why...we have no idea!), so please send me an email and I'll send you a fact sheet.

tony.koski@colostate.edu

Thanks,
Tony