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Seeding Pastures Now? - Upstate NY

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  • Seeding Pastures Now? - Upstate NY

    DH and I bought a farmette back in July. When we moved here pastures hadn't been touched by a a horse in a while so they were green and lush. Fast forward to now, had new fencing installed and moved our 2 horses here. Pasture quality went downhill as when the fencing company was installing it was rainy almost the whole time and their equipment killed a lot of the grass. Like last winter, it has been unseasonably warm with virtually no snowfall. I have 3 pastures to work with. Should I seed now or is it pointless? I also rotate the horses. Any advice on pasture management would be greatly appreciated, as I am totally new to this part of horse keeping; I boarded for 16 years and this is my first time having the horses at home. TIA!!

  • #2
    Talk to your County Extension Agent.

    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raça, Uma Paixão


    • #3
      What size pastures? Just the two horses? Unless the pastures are pretty big it is a good idea to have a sacrifice area for wet times that they can tear up, leaving the main fields in good shape.

      I read a lot about people seeding pastures; I've broadcast (if that's the right term) seed and I've also just left it and the fields seem to fill in with grass just fine, whether I seed or not.
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      • #4
        I am down south, so yeah, talk to people in your area, but I am thinking it is too late to reseed right now. Early spring is probably your best bet, if you can't wait til late fall. But the county extension will be more informed as to when you can successfully redo your fields.

        But in the mean time you can do soil samples (they can also tell you how to do that)


        • #5
          Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
          What size pastures? Just the two horses? Unless the pastures are pretty big it is a good idea to have a sacrifice area for wet times that they can tear up, leaving the main fields in good shape.

          I read a lot about people seeding pastures; I've broadcast (if that's the right term) seed and I've also just left it and the fields seem to fill in with grass just fine, whether I seed or not.
          Most certainly set up a pasture as a sacrifice or you will ruin all 3 pastures.

          Also, what are you calling 'upstate' NY'? I've heard :
          1. anything beyond NYC upstate,
          2. Albany area
          3. western NY

          All 3 I've heard called upstate and since I'm far from a native NYer I have no idea if Albany area is much different than western NY, which is where I am located.

          I'm not saying let's go kill all the stupid people...I'm just saying let's remove all the warning labels and let the problem sort itself out.


          • Original Poster

            Thanks everyone. Our County extension is through Cornell so I'm sure they will be good. I'm in Rochester, mjs. I am designating one area as the sacrifice area.


            • #7
              I am in NY too (Capital Region)...and I would be afraid of them actually starting to grow with this crazy weather! From what I've been told, it is ok to "frost seed" in anticipation of spring -- some people do this in February, etc. but the theory is that the seed will be there ready to sprout in the spring. At this point the year, I would not want any actual germination to take place....because if it does you've wasted your seed (assuming it will actually freeze sometime).

              I am desperately ready for the ground to freeze and stay frozen! I do not have a big enough sacrifice area to last all winter long (and make horses happy) -- I *can* keep them off the pasture but we are all miserable.


              • #8
                Syracuse here- my guess would be not enough sun or warmth to germinate now. We have had the best luck seeding in spring or fall.


                • #9
                  About the equipment killing the grass. I had a rutted field disc harrowed. I then york raked it several times to level out the the discing. And waited. The intact root system gave itself a shake, and decided to sprout. I never did seed that field.

                  But I didn't turn out on it either.
                  Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                  Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Trees4U View Post
                    Syracuse here- my guess would be not enough sun or warmth to germinate now. We have had the best luck seeding in spring or fall.
                    Probably correct that they would not germinate now. I would be worried about a February heat wave like we had last year, and then a freeze. If I were seeding, I'd probably wait until March or so...