Where do you buy your grass seeds: feed store, order online (is shipping very expensive), other?
We usually buy from the feed store but they only have one type (a species that is popular here and does well) but it is quite expensive so I am looking for other options.
I overseed my pasture after spraying and disking them in the spring to freshen them up. We do not cut hay, mainly use it for grazing. We are in the extreme south so it is almost time to start pasture prepping.
You want to buy seed that will work in YOUR location. Seed ordered in by Brand Name is often better suited for growing in other locations.
You should educate your self on grasses, so when you READ THE LABEL, you understand what you are getting.
Annual "whatever kind" is a seed that is ONLY good for the year it is planted. This is a VERY popular kind of seed in the general mixes I see sold up here in the North. Annual Rye, Annual Fescue is common. Contractors buy Annual kinds because it fills in nice and THEY don't have to worry what the heck it looks like NEXT year! Cheaper than other brands of seeds, so it is used to "fill up" bags of other grass seed mixes. Can often be 80% of the mix!
That label reading will tell you percentage of any amount of seed in this mixed bag. High percentages of Annual grasses won't be coming back next year.
Some KINDS of grasses don't do well in heat or cold locations. Kentucky Bluegrass is great stuff, but quits growing in our summer heat up North. Not sure it would do anything for you in the deep South. Other kinds of grasses I plant ONLY do much growing in the heat of summer, when my cold season grasses do nothing. Planting a mixed seed keeps my animals with good grazing all season long.
I avoid planting any Fescues, since we raise a foal now and again. Fescues can have the endophyte that causes problems in broodmares, so I just don't plant Fescues of any kind. There are steps to avoid the problems, but for us it is easier to just not plant Fescue grasses. I understand Fescue can be very heat tolerant, might be all that grows in your location. Just know it can cause problems as you read those Labels on seed bags.
Educate yourself on the types of grasses, know the types that can work for you and your location. Then READ THE LABEL on the bag contents, to see if those kind of seeds are what you want planted.
I purchase from my local Elevator, after we have a talk about what is in the mix of seeds. The last couple times I planted, it was a Mare and Foal Mix of seeds that met my criteria. It grew very well, horses look good on it. I put seed down as you do, disc, fertilize, lay the seed down, drag to cover. Tractor is too small to drill it in.
You could contact your local Extension Service, ask them about seed for HORSES and places that sell it. My seed comes thru Michigan State someway, to the Elevator, as part of their MSU Grass Study program. They have grasses for all species you use! Seed is designed for growing in our climate and being successfull at strong production of pasture.
Your area would have another kind of mix seed, best grown in your climate.
Grass seed of quality is EXPENSIVE. I make every effort to help that seed sprout and grow, to get my money's worth from it. It cost a LOT more than the TSC grass seed of Annual type grasses. However, even with the drought, that seed grew well enough to keep my 6 horses grazing on about 11 acres of pasture, rotated often. We fed no hay during that dry time. That was over 6 weeks of no rain. Had some heavy dews, but not much moisture from May, June, into July.
I consider the seed to be equal to gold dust, and care for it the same way, to get it growing well. There were $150 bags of seed weighing 50#!! I didn't buy that kind, but Elevator was having a hard time keeping it on hand!
Self education is the best tool, so you understand what you read and purchase for grass seed.
I am familiar enough with the grasses that grow here (friends that are horiculturalist) to know what will work and the mixes from Tractor Supply will not work in our area. What I have priced some and so far it was $300 per 50# so if I could find $150 per 50# it would be great. I had forgotten about the local farm ferilizer place, I will call them next week to ask about seeds.
Co-Ops are usually good sources of seed. If you do a quantity buy they will generally cut you a deal on price. Not sure about the likes of TSC, Farm & Fleet, etc.
If you're lucky you'll find a wholesaler in your area that will sell directly. You've generally got to make a large buy but if your place is big or you can combine an order with neighbors it can work. Do some Googling for your area and find out.
BUY WHAT IS PROPER FOR YOUR AREA AND YOUR LAND AND YOUR USE!!!!!
The County Extension agent is your friend, here. Do is a soil sample to see what kind of fertilizer and lime you need. The Agents will make site visits upon request. You've already paid for the service in your taxes. Use it!
In the Southeast the toughest grass you can plant is Tall Fescue. If you're running brood stock this is not a good choice. If all you keep is geldings and open mares it's a wonderful choice. Horses can eat it to dirt and, if you pull them off in the growing season, it will recover nicely. Not many will do that. As long as you follow the "no brood stock" rule you're OK. Note that this is not just my opinion, it's also that of the U of TN Ag. School.
Grass is very much a local crop. Treat it like one and you can do OK.
If your local county extension is any good, try them as they may have some good suggestions (here, they are pretty hopeless so I don't bother). I've also found that the ag program at local universities can have some great information -- maybe not specifically where to buy, but at least what to look for. Our local "farm" store carries a mix that is really not that great, so we've taken to ordering single varieties and doing our own mix. SO does the ordering, so I'm not sure where from, but it is semi-local (Oregon grass seed is big business) and probably not real helpful for you even if I could identify it!
A farm supply place. They typically do contract work for farmers like seeding and fertilizing, and around here are by far the cheapest places to buy seed.
This. Not TSC or your local feed store. I'm not a fan of Southern States...too pricey. When I buy seed I go to the farm supply place that does soil tests, custom mixes fertilizer, sells corn and soybean seed as well as grass seed, and knows what will grow in your neck of the woods. Prices are best and so is the service.
After you find that real farm store, check where the nearest
place old farmers gather for morning coffee. Sit with them
one day and ask about what you should plant in your area.
They will have all sorts of opinions, but it comes from many
years of dealing with your climate and soils.
Thanks for the input. We test our soil every 2 years and have only a minor pH issue which we are addressing. Our local extension office is okay but due to budget cuts it is hard to get someone on the phone to ask questions.