If you are making plans to thicken your stand of grass, there are a few things you may want to consider.
First of all, get the seed out when you have the best chances of success. As mentioned earlier, fall is the best, but if that is not possible, early spring is second best. Next, you need to get good seed-to-soil contact. The seed will not do any good if it does not get to the soil, or the soil is extremely hard. The best way to put the seed out without plowing up the field is through the use of a no-till drill.
This is a piece of equipment which will plant the grass seed in seven-inch-wide rows and does little damage to the grass already present. No-till drills can be rented locally. Some individuals prefer to lightly disk the area, and then broadcast the seed. This will also work, but you will need to increase the seeding rate, and it will do more damage to the grass already there. The third pointer is using the right amount of seed. If using a no-till drill, you will need about 18-20 pounds per acre of fescue seed, while you will need to use 25 pounds per acre if you broadcast the seed. Lastly, the new grass will need a light fertilizer application to get it off to a good start, and testing your soil through the Extension Office is a good way to determine fertilizer needs.
Call us at the Walker County Extension Office at 706-638-2548 for more pasture improvement details.
Norman Edwards is coordinator of Walker County Extension Service.