It’s Sowing Season
Late August through September is the preferred time to sow cool season grasses in pastures and hay fields. Several factors make this the best time to sow cool season grasses, including less weed emergence/competition and adequate rainfall in most years.
If you are sowing grass into an existing field to thicken the forage stand, then you should clip or mow low before seeding. This will help the new seedlings establish by lessening the competition from existing grass.
There are three basic seeding methods:
- Conventionally tilled, with cultipacker or roller used before and after seeding.
- No-till seeding (preferred on sloped ground to prevent erosion). Take time to calibrate and set the drill to the right depth.
- Harrowing pastures before and after broadcasting grass seeds.
Good seed to soil contact is ones of the keys to successful establishment. Although grass seeds can germinate without it, they require good seed to soil contact in order to properly root.
Recommended seeding times, rates, and depths for forages are listed in AGR 18 Grain and Forage Crop Guide: www.uky.edu/Ag/Forage/ForagePublications.htm.