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bnayc 02-29-2012 12:40 PM

grass seed for my horses?
 
Hey I was wondering if it was safe for my horses if I planted grass seed. It might sound dumb but Im not sure if they use special fertilizers in the seed itself. Any thoughts or recommendations?

themacpack 02-29-2012 12:49 PM

The typical seed that would be a concern is not seed you would want to use in a pasture setting - the treated seeds are most commonly seen in those designed for yard use, "quick fill", etc. Those also happen to be grasses that are not practical for grazing use. If you purchase your seed from a source that is familiar with pasture applications (ie farm store, seed retailer, etc) and discuss your specific needs they can help you select the seed best for you and your horses. You may also want to speak to your local extension agent as they can advise you based on your specific area, your soil, your needs, etc.

bnayc 02-29-2012 12:51 PM

Ok do you think my local feed and seed would be helpful?

Saddlebag 02-29-2012 12:55 PM

Seed purchased from a feed store is what you need. Much cheaper than lawn seed and nothing has been added.

Faceman 02-29-2012 01:20 PM

Yeah, seeding a pasture with grass seed from Walmart or a garden center would cost you an arm and a leg...:lol:

Just an unsolicited hint about seeding your pasture. When you cultivate a horse pasture, you have a choice of two things - you can make it pretty, or you can make it nutritous. A pretty pasture is homogenous with one type of grass or legume - uniform, and pleasing to look at, but lacking in nutrition. A nutritious pasture is one with a variety of grasses - not as pleasing to the eye, but far more nutritious. Different plants contain different amounts of nutrients and minerals, and the wider variety you have, the more your horses will get everything they need from a natural pasture diet.

I'm in a much warmer climate than you, but just to give you an example, I seed my pasture with orchard grass, bermuda, fescue (I no longer breed), crabgrass, and leave lots of room for a wide variety of wild grasses and weeds. I also don't mow about 25% of it and let it go to seed every year to help natural reseeding and to give the horses the benefit of natural standing seed (grain) to munch on to supplement their basic grass diet...

kitten_Val 02-29-2012 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Faceman (Post 1384757)
I seed my pasture with orchard grass, bermuda, fescue (I no longer breed), crabgrass, and leave lots of room for a wide variety of wild grasses and weeds.

Where do you buy from? I tried to find bermuda around here, but with no success. We have "pasture mix", but that one for sure costs leg and arm.

Faceman 02-29-2012 01:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kitten_Val (Post 1384777)
Where do you buy from? I tried to find bermuda around here, but with no success. We have "pasture mix", but that one for sure costs leg and arm.

Probably the reason you can't find it around there is the climate in Maryland is not really conducive to bermuda...that is getting a bit far north for a southern grass. You can grow bermuda in the upper temperate zones, but it doesn't grow as well and doesn't spread very well like it does down south.

I buy it at any of my local feedstores, but there are lots of places you can order bermuda seed online...

kitten_Val 02-29-2012 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Faceman (Post 1384796)
Probably the reason you can't find it around there is the climate in Maryland is not really conducive to bermuda...that is getting a bit far north for a southern grass. You can grow bermuda in the upper temperate zones, but it doesn't grow as well and doesn't spread very well like it does down south.

Thank you! I know some people around feed bermuda hay, but I never got a chance to ask if it comes from south or local. While doing my research while back on different grass I read that bermuda is very drought-resistant (?). So I was hoping to seed some because of the summer temps we are having (when all fields just turn yellow and dry :( ). I've never heard about crabgrass though, so I guess it's also some kind of south grass?

There are not too many options to buy around here unfortunately: tall fescue and pasture mix are the most common ones (although pasture mixes I've seen/bough have lots of rye in it that not every horse likes).

bnayc 02-29-2012 05:56 PM

Thank you faceman. I don't care how pretty my pasture looks, already about 30% of it is a yellowish grass which isn't very nutritious. I get a very rich hay which my horses have free range to. I just wanted to give them a good variety. About how much of each grass do you plant? I have a 3 acre pasture and really only need to seed about a half acre.

Faceman 02-29-2012 06:35 PM

I have a much larger pasture, but I don't plant in large plots - I try as well as I can to have a relatively even mixture throughout the pasture. A lot depends uon what you are planting. You can't normally plant short and tall grasses like fescue and bermuda in the same spot as the shorter bermuda won't make it, so you usually have to plant the shorter grasses in little patches.

To Kitten Val - Crabgrass is considered a yard weed by city folk and is not desireable in fields of bermuda that are being grown for commercial pure bermuda hay production, but it is one of the best forages available to horses - one of those best kept secrets. It actually was introduced in the US as a forage product. Horses love it. It mixes well with fescue (if you are not breeding), because like bermuda, crabgrass really starts growing strong in the hot summer when the fescue has become mostly dormant. Like bermuda though, it requires a lot of rain...


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