Hand holding seed

Overseeding Existing Pastures: Choosing the Perfect Seed for Your Pastures

One of the most popular questions producers like to ask is “My pasture isn’t performing like I want it to, so what do I overseed my pasture with?" This question has many different kinds of answers but most of them point to the actions you must do before ever purchasing the seed. 

Sowing Seeds of Understanding

Before you start tossing out that shiny sack of seeds you've been eyeing, it's critical to scrutinize three fundamental puzzles. The success of any seed, whether for grass or legume, is nestled in the answers to these essentials: grazing management, soil fertility, and weed mitigation.

farmers in field
  • Grazing Management: The Great Selector

    Livestock can be, well, finicky eaters. Their preferences sometimes align with the longevity of the land's flora. Overgrazing, compounded by animals choosing the best bites for themselves, can lead to a nutrient imbalance in the pasture. The flower of today might be the weed of tomorrow if not graciously maintained.

  • Soil Fertility: The Silent Enabler

    The fertility of soil acts as the unsung hero behind every blade of grass. A simple soil test can coax out any issues brewing beneath the surface — be it pH levels askew or nutrient deficiencies. Nurturing the very bedrock of your pasture is akin to setting the stage for a verdant utopia.

  • Weed Mitigation: The Unwelcome Rival

    Before sowing anything new, you need to manage the botanical competition. An unruly weed population can strangle the growth of desired forages, and that's a clash you want to preempt. Striving for weed-free pastures is pivotal; it's like giving your fields a crisp, fresh canvas to paint with the colors of new life.


Selecting the Right Seeds

Choosing what to stock in your pasture pantry is akin to an agronomic recipe, a blend to meet your needs and climate. Legumes and grasses adorn the menu, each with their star qualities.

planting seed
  • Legumes: The Nitrogen Fixers

    Legumes are the multivitamins of pasture perennials. When you think legumes, think clover — a friend to the soil and the creatures that graze upon it. Clover's gift of nitrogen fixation feeds the very heart of your pasture, enhancing forage nutrition and stimulating the growth of companion grasses.

  • Grasses: The Verdant Vestiges

    Grasses come in many shades, each suited for a specific setting. Whether you're thinking perennial or warm-season, grasses need their patch of sunlight — room to thrive and intermingle with the incumbent flora. Grasses like fescue and orchardgrass are perennial powerhouses, textured to tough out the establishment challenges.


The Art of Intertwining

Feeding that seed-to-soil connection is vital. For legumes, methods abound — frost seeding, broadcasting, or drill-sowing. Each spectacle tailored to the season and pasture canvas. Grasses, though, need a more deliberate approach. A no-till drill ensures that every seed finds its place in the soil, securing its livelihood against the overwhelming odds of pre-existing sod.

  • Cool Season Grasses: The Balanced Act

    Opting for cool-season grasses aligns you with the perennial promise, a gentle harmony even in the face of competitive pre-existing growth. By grazing lightly to moderate the existing vegetation, you accord celestial growth to your newcomer grasses, ensuring their ascent to the pantheon of pasture plants.

  • Warm Season Grasses: The Southern Sun Guardians

    For the southern sun seekers desiring year-long sustenance, warm-season grasses like Bermuda grass or forage crabgrass are the very emblems of an extended grazing season. They swoop in post-dormancy, a verdant surge defying the summer's arid scorn.

Sunset pasture with farmer


The Tapestry of Pasture

There's an art and a science to the pasture, a tapestry woven from the threads of grasses, legumes, animal husbandry, and stewardship of the land. At Barenbrug, our mission isn't just to peddle seeds. It's to fan the flames of curiosity, nurture the soil, and root for your pastures' prosperity.

If you find yourself pondering the green expanses under your care, remember these pointers. Overseeding isn't a one-time miracle — it's a season's symphony, a cycle that revolves around nurture and nature, delicately intertwined like the roots of your growing legumes. It's about selecting the right seed for the right need and the right feed. We hope these seeds of wisdom and encouragement will sprout new questions in your farming adventures, ones we're eager to help you answer.

The path to a thriving pasture is as diverse as the landscapes it adorns, but with diligent planning, select seeding, and a dash of patience, you'll find that pasture perfection is within reach. Here's to your fields flourishing this season and the next, and to the growth that stretches not just across the land but within each farmer's heart. 


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