View Full Version : Seed first, or fertilize first?

Mar. 7, 2011, 02:13 PM
I've called the 2 seed companies in town - got 2 different answers!

My pastures like their regular Spring fertilizing but I also need to add seed this year.

So which should I do first? Rain coming at the end of the week so I'd like to get down whichever should go first asap.

FYI - Aiken, SC area and pastures are Coastal Bermuda.

Mar. 7, 2011, 04:02 PM
When I worked in lawn and garden, it was usually best to seed first and wait until you could actually mow it (3-4") before you spread out fertilizer. You want your seed to have grown some decent roots before you fertilize, otherwise you may "shock" the grass and have the opposite desired effect.

Mar. 7, 2011, 04:38 PM
or option 3 - when I get a buggy of fertilizer from my local ag place they go ahead and mix in pasture seed and it all goes down at the same time.

Mar. 7, 2011, 06:56 PM
Ditto Mudroom. Do both at the same time.

Mar. 7, 2011, 06:57 PM
I would wait till there is no chance of a frost. You don't want to seed or fertilize and then get a frost. My coastal isn't really growing yet. The ground needs to be warmer. Are these established bermuda pastures?

Mar. 7, 2011, 08:07 PM
tasia, I seriously doubt we're going to get any more frost here.
The pastures were planted 3.5 years ago but really need some additional seed. We tried disking/aerating last year and it helped but after taking 20 trees out there's lots of dead space that needs filling in.

I'd heard about "burning the seed" with fertilizer that's why I wondered if prepping the soil with fertilizer first was a good idea?

Mar. 7, 2011, 08:59 PM
You can burn grass with fertilizer. I haven't heard of burning seed with it. I wait till April to fertilize. It's in the 40's at night here this week. The coastal is greening a little, but it's still too cold for it to really be growing.

I would ask your county ag agent.

Almost Heaven
Mar. 7, 2011, 09:51 PM
Same time. Fresh seed/germinated seed has the highest nutrient requirements. The hotter the better at germination.

Mar. 7, 2011, 11:37 PM
When I established my pasture with pensecola bahia, the Extension Agent told me to disc, place the lime I needed (did soil test), seed, water, and when the first tiny bit of seedlings are sprouting up, fertilize. I did this and this is year number 4 and last year it was super thick. There is some bermuda in there that was there previously and it was really nice too. Last year I did reseed with the bahia and again, did as my extension agent said, and waited to fertilize until I saw the little sprouts. I just threw down fertilizer Saturday night b/c it was "75% chance of rain all morning into the afternoon" and of course we didnt get a DROP. But I waited until the grass had started to sprout on its own, getting out of the dormant stage. We will see if we actually get rain this Thurs and see how it takes off (thankfully the ground isnt dry and we have a lot of dew so ok there).

Your local extension agent is there for you - call them and ask them specifically. Let them know it is bermuda for horse pasture and all the other details and follow their advice.

Mar. 8, 2011, 10:17 AM
OK - related question - what do people do as far as putting horses back on pasture that has been fertilized - do you wait?

Mar. 8, 2011, 10:36 AM
What are you fertilizing with?

For most, we wait for 2 weeks AND a big rain. If horse poop, they go right back on. Lime they can go back on but they might pour drool, won't hurt them though.

Mar. 8, 2011, 10:47 AM
we use urea to fertilize with. It dissolves very quickly as soon as there is any moisture, including due. It is also very small granules. We will actually fertilize with the horses in the pasture.

Mar. 8, 2011, 12:03 PM
Thanks for the info.
I fertilize with the horses on the pastures. I move them for lime or weed spray.

We never did a really good/heavy seeding when we cleared. It was suggested we do a light seeing of Bermuda and add Millet to give us some immediate ground cover and protect the young Bermuda.
Live and learn.
So now my pastures aren't "thick" enough to stand up to all summer grazing even with constant rotation.

Didn't help getting hit with Army worms twice last summer!

The number of horses is down for the next few months, perfect time to try and correct all this.

Mar. 8, 2011, 01:18 PM
Army worms stink! They love fertilized bermuda, usually in the fall. I walk my pastures and keep an eye out for cow birds. Only got them once last year, none the year before.

Mar. 8, 2011, 04:26 PM
Yeah, ugh! First bout I sprayed like crazy and watched the little buggers DIE!

But they came back about 3 weeks later. My pastures didn't stand a chance :(

Turns out that Fire ants are natural predators of Army worms. Guess what my neighbor treated her entire farm for last summer? Yup, Fire ants!

I'll be ready for the buggers this year!!

Mar. 8, 2011, 08:43 PM
I use a slow release granular fertilizer and if I had to turn them back out, it would be after a good rain, at least 1/2". But I prefer to fertilize and wait like 2-3 weeks until it really starts growing and it has been rained/watered in before turning them out. My friend uses an organic fertilizer (not manure, its a commerical type) and you can turn the horses out directly on it even if it isnt watered in.