Top Three Reasons New Seedings Fail
Laid out here are the top 3 (but not the only) reasons new pasture seedings can fail. Pastures are a long-term investment and getting them established is the biggest hurdle. Let’s see how to jump it…
Like many people, small grass seedlings do not like crowds. They strongly dislike shade when trying to establish. Desirable or undesirable species that grow faster than newly planted grass can cause too much shade for the seedling to overcoming. Having just formed, the seedling will not have enough root reserves to pull from to outgrow lack of sunlight for an extended period of time.
When interseeding into existing pasture, a similar problem can occur with the already established species. This is why our recommended formula for interseeding into an existing stand is: Graze/Cut → Drill in new species → Graze/Cut when established stand begins to fill in. This sequence gives new seedlings the highest amount of light to establish and boost your pasture stand.
Seed Bed Prep –
Not giving a proper seed bed for new plants to establish in is a great way to start your new seeding off poorly. Treat it like the cash crop it is! No one would broadcast their corn, would they? Even in no-till situations, shattering a small section of that topsoil where the seed is places is crucial for giving that plant a strong start. That seed needs a tilthy soil area to send new roots down and healthy shoots up.
Use the drill, coulters, and seed depth that are right for the conditions you are seeding into and type of pasture species that you are planting.
Heavy rain, no rain, cold snap, hot streak. All of these situations can be detrimental to your new seedlings trying to germinate, root down, and produce above ground growth. At the end of the day, there really is no way to foresee some of these conditions unless you have a really good weather reporter or have a direct phone line to the Big Guy – if that’s the case, we would love to do a conference call before every planting season! (563-852-3192)
Keep following Beyond Agronomy for more take-away tips on how to successfully establish pastures!