Planting new pasture in a field of CLAY 😬

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laceyforward
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Joined: Thu 30-Dec-2021, 23:41

We did a pasture renovation to increase drainage and found our whole field is CLAY. I need to plant pasture but I’m concerned the seed won’t take root and flourish.
What do we do? We need to get this planted before the rains come.
Danoost
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I wouldn't be concerned because of the clay. I would lightly power harrow or till the surface and seed your grass before October. When you can comfortable get on the land in the spring, add some compost to give it a boost before introducing the animals. I would say that you should graze the land until June of next year once the grass is more established.
laceyforward
Posts: 6
Joined: Thu 30-Dec-2021, 23:41

Do you have a recommendation for approx how much compost to add on top in the spring? Is there a reason you add the compost in the spring rather than before seeding?
We graze cattle so we would like it to eventually be a nice pasture without having to invest too much money. We would like to keep the costs as low as possible but we still want a nice product at the end.


As always THANK YOU for your insight!!!
Danoost
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I would add just add 1/2" or so of compost in the spring or even late winter if you're here on the West Coast and if the grass is somewhat established. Otherwise wait until the ground thaws and things begin to grow. My suggestion was to add the compost in the spring as opposed to the time around seeding but you can add it anytime the grass is still growing. My concern was that the grass seed would be less likely to germinate in the compost which could dry out.

Add more compost in small amounts through the spring.

You could even add compost now once the grass has germinated if the compost is fine enough to spread and fall in between the fragile blades of grass.

best.
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