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Reseeding Pasture

Follow these steps provided by the Colorado State Cooperative Extension.

Step 1: Corral your horses.
Step 2: If the condition of the pasture is poor (50% or more of the land is weedy and remnants of native grasses are virtually nonexistent), then start over.  Precautions should be taken to prevent erosion problems on steeper slopes (over 6%).
Step 3: If you start over (renovate):
A. Complete one or two discings.
B. Harrow with a spike tooth or chain link fence.  This breaks up the dirt clods and prepares the seed bed.
C. Plant a cover crop of forage sorghum, Sudan grass, millet or oats.  Seed these anywhere from June 1 to July 1.  The cover crop competes with the weeds.
D. Let the cover crop grow through the summer.  The subsequent dead litter mulch retains moisture and provides an ideal environment for young grass seedlings to grow.
E. Seed native grasses from November up until May the following year.  Do not use any tillage prior to seeding.  Use no-till grass drills whenever possible.
F. Mow the weeds the following year to prevent seed production.  The mowings are done around the middle of June and sometime in August for many weeds.  Mow no lower than four to five inches.
Step 4: If you don't have to renovate, divide the pasture in half and use a rotation grazing system.
Step 5: Inter-seed native grasses by using a drill (preferable) or broadcasting.  You will double the success of inter-seeding if you use a seed drill.  Usually 20% to 30% of seed emerges with a drill while only 10% with broadcasting.  For rangeland situations, drilling is always preferred.
Step 6: On small acreages (less than 10 acres) corral your animals and let them use the pasture for only brief periods of exercise.