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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?
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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.
 

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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...
 

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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).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
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.
 

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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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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...
Interesting! I'll look into crabgrass. I mostly use the fescue at the moment (because pasture mix doesn't seem to grow very well) and Kentucky grass (I think... I have to check the name, but that one is quite nice). No, I don't breed and have no plans to do it in future (I know fescue may be an issue for the preggie mare). :wink:
 

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I plant winter rye grass in the fall, skip a year then plant k 31 in the spring, This year I am spraying pasture weed killer, I have way too much clover. I have patches of bermuda, looks pretty in the summer but turns into brown carpet pretty early. Ive only had one horse that will even eat it. I'm gonna kill it to keep it from spreading this spring.
 

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The wife picked up a 50lb bag of Kentucky 31 today.

We're expecting 2 to 3 inches of rain tonight and tomorrow, so I'm going to wait a few days before I spread it.

As Joe did, I also over seeded last fall, with winter wheat and rye.

I just hope we get rain at the correct intervals this year, as August of last year did some serious damage to my pasture with no rain at all during the month.
 

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I plant winter rye grass in the fall, skip a year then plant k 31 in the spring, This year I am spraying pasture weed killer, I have way too much clover. I have patches of bermuda, looks pretty in the summer but turns into brown carpet pretty early. Ive only had one horse that will even eat it. I'm gonna kill it to keep it from spreading this spring.
FYI, clover loves acidic soil. If you bring up the ph of your soil by lime-ing the snot out of it, the clover will not want to grow as vigorously.

OP, most commericial grasses are treated with a fungicide which can cause problems with horses eating it. I'm going to be reseeding a grass hunt course soon and have been hard pressed to find a seed that is not treated with it. It's getting very frustrating. If I come across a good one, I'll let you know. Right now I'm liking Combat Extreme. It's a blend of 3 varieties of fescue and one part KBG. It would do well in Maryland. Not sure if it has the fungicide coating yet.
 
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