How to overseed without herbicides

total grazing Jul 13, 2021

Many times, we can profit from overseeding higher producing annuals or perennials on our pastures in different times of the year.

While tilling the soil or using herbicides may give a better stand or an earlier and higher yield compared to no till drilling without herbicides or tilling, you can still benefit from this practice by timely severe grazing and or mowing.

No till drilling Sudan grass in cool season forages to get higher forage production in the summer slump is one example.  Another could be incorporating new herbs, like Chicory or plantain, into cool season forages for better drought resistance in milder environments.

Another could be no till drilling of tall grass prairie species into cool season forages.

In all these cases we need to consider two things:

1.- The allelopathic effect of the established pasture

2.- Good seed to soil contact

For the allelopathic effect we can play with the season to make sure the established pasture species are dormant or weakened when we no till drill a species that will do well in that season.

Another option is to no till drill species that are impervious to the allelopathic effects of the established pasture species, and another strategy, when you cannot wait until frost or it gets very hot depending on your established species, is to do a severe grazing which would be repeated 10 days later and then no till drill your seeds.

By doing this you effectively overgraze your established pasture to give the new seedlings time and conditions to establish.  This may give you a 30 days or longer head start over waiting for that first frost in warm season perennials or the weather to turn hot if on cool season pastures.

This becomes very important as when it gets hot it can also get dry and your plantings may not be as profitable.

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