Overseeding thin spots

Asked March 12, 2020, 4:53 PM EDT

I want to overseed 2 or 3 acres of thin spots in my pasture which has gated pipe irrigation. I am in Montezuma county and it is March 12. I have a broadcast seeder but could rent a drill. When would be the best time and whay technique?

Montezuma County Colorado

1 Response

Well you got the best of two worlds. One is the availability to water which will allow you to get seed to germinate during a possible lack of moisture in the ground. Second it sounds as if you have had some type of pasture there before.

I would suggest using a no till drill set at the 1/4 inch or shallow as possible. Too deep the seed wont germinate. The risk of seeding now is you may not have water available to keep the soil moisture up. I am not sure if you are using ditch water or some other source.

The problem with just broadcasting is lack of moisture on the surface makes it very difficult for the seed to germinate. The birds and mice also enjoy the grass seed as well. If broadcasting you will need to lightly harrow or drag something to help stir up the soil to get seed to have good soil contact.
Most seed requires a 10 to 14 day germination period pending on what you are using. There are some seed companies out there or even Basin COOP carries seed.

Remember sometimes itis difficult to get seed to germinate in existing pasture due to roots of existing grasses. I have seen where pastures can be rejuvunated by fertilizer and keeping animals off the pasture till it gets 6 inches or so high.

I also suggest you talk with your Extension agent in Montezuma. They may also have resources available and can help you.