Every year we throw out Marshall rye grass seed. It grows like crazy.
If you can time it so it gets a rain right away it will usually be two to three inches tall in a week.
Last year I planted way too much (I don't let the horses graze it 24/7) and ended up having to do lots of mowing so this year I only planted one large paddock where they are allowed to graze an hour or so a day.
Last edited by pj; Dec. 19, 2009 at 11:49 AM.
You know why cowboys don't like Appaloosas?" - Answer: Because to train a horse, you have to be smarter than it is.
I plant Marshall rye too. My 2 paddocks where I put it are BRIGHT green and growing like crazy. I was slowly extending the time for the herd to be on it because they were off of grass while it was growing. Now they can be on it 24/7 if need be but usually I let them on during the day and off at night. Of course with as wet as it is, Im hesitant to let them out on it because they run around and ruin it all.
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I've only put down the rye in about 2-3 acres of my 9 acre pasture, and only in the bareish spots, so now I have lots of "chia pet" spots in my pasture. I figure it gives the horses a little something green to nibble on along with the dormant bahia, bermuda, carpetgrass that is in the field (and yes, they do eat the dormant grass also). I used the Oregon Grown rye seed, as that is what my feed store carries, and it is inexpensive.
There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams
Marshall and Big Daddy have been some of the top performers in forage trials at Va Tech and NCSU in the past for ryegrass. Abruzzi is a well known cereal rye that is also often used.
You're much better off to lightly overseed (rather than not overseed at all) your bermuda/bahia so that your horses will eat that instead of tearing up your dormant bermuda. Horses are terrible about ripping up the dormant grass by the roots and this really damages a pasture in a hurry- giving you a weaker and much slower growing pasture in the spring. If you don't want them eating so much of the lush grass, just overseed very lightly so there's just enough for them to pick at to keep them off the dormant grass but not so much that they're stuffing themselves out there.
"Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you're a thousand miles from the corn field." --Dwight D Eisenhower