How to Grow Grass in a Pasture

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Healthy pasture grass can keep cattle healthy.
Healthy pasture grass can keep cattle healthy. (Image: cow on a pasture image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com)

It's important for farmers with pastures to grow healthy grass for their cattle and horses to graze on. Pasture grass grows much the same as regular lawn grass, but pastures can sometimes be many acres wide and require significant maintenance.

Things You'll Need

  • Soil tiller
  • Flattener
  • Fertilizer
  • Seeds
  • Rake
  • Lawnmower

Till the soil on your pasture to remove any old grass or weeds growing in the area. You want your seedbed to completely clean when preparing to seed your pasture. Till at least 6 inches deep to break up weed roots.

Flatten the area with a hoe or tractor-drawn flattener to level out the surface. This will ensure that grass seed is distributed evenly and is not buried too deeply.

Apply a balanced fertilizer to your pasture at a rate of 250 lbs. of fertilizer per acre of land. The fertilizer will prepare the soil for grass seed and help the seed establish roots quickly.

Distribute seeds across the land at a rate of 50 to 100 lbs. of seed per acre. The actual amount of seed you use will vary depending on the thickness you desire from your grass. Do not exceed 100 lbs., or the grass can suffer from lack of nutrition.

Rake the entire pasture so that the seeds are covered by about ½ inch soil. Do not bury any deeper, or else the seeds may be deprived of heat, light and water.

Water the pasture area every evening for 30 minutes. This will keep the soil moist and encourage grass root growth. Continue to water until the grass begins to sprout.

Water the pasture three times per week once the grass reaches 6 inches tall. Water for 30 minutes during each watering. If the soil receives sufficient water from rain during the week, limit your watering to compensate.

Reapply fertilizer at the previous rate three months after planting to encourage continued growth. After the first year, fertilize the pasture in early spring, mid-summer and late fall.

Mow the lawn to maintain a height of 6 to 10 inches. This length will allow for proper cattle or horse grazing and will help to control weeds, which may receive limited sunlight if they are not allowed to grow any taller than 10 inches.

Tips & Warnings

  • The actual tools needed for your pasture will vary by size. For example, you can use a hand-operated power rake to till small areas, or a tractor-pulled tiller on larger areas.

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