Warm Season Grass Broadcast or drill?

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terra8186

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I have 10 acres of Warm Season Grass (big blue, little blue, indian, switch, and forbes) that I let grow up for wildlife. I planted it 2 years ago and I have a couple of spots that I would like to fill in a little better. I think I have a great opportunity to do it this weekend. I am going to cut the grass down and use a hay rake to remove all of last years and the previous years grass. The field will be frozen with no snow this weekend.

My question is should I no-till drill the seed in these areas in May or should I broadcast the seed now while the ground is freezing and thawing. Any opinions? Broadcasting would be much easier if it would be affective.
 

novatech

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As dun said no-til. I you broadcast you must do it on a prepared seedbed.After broadcasting then you should pack it in with a roller.
If you have been letting the existing forage go to seed there should be plenty of seed already in the bare areas. You may just need to very lightly till those areas. If there is still seed on what you intend to mow just scatter it out on the bare areas after tilling. Turn cattle into it an allow them to stomp it into the ground.
I do not believe I would cut and remove vegetation. Burning or grazing off is much more beneficial for prairie grasses.
If you do mow leave at least 8" of stubble for regrowth and do not remove clippings.
 

dun

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The subject of thickening a stand of WSG came up yesterday while I was at NRCS. I was told the best thing to do is to graze it heavy and long. When I thought the cows should come off I should graze it another week. As long as it's been established a couple of years it will cause the individual grass plants to "stool out". According to the experts that means the individual plants will grow in diameter and spread.
I sat on a stool and stepped in a stool but I've never seen a grass stool
 
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terra8186

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Thanks for the replies.

I spent a couple of hours yesterday cutting the four spots with a brush hog and raked it up and brought it up front for the feeder calves to eat. They are eating mostly grain so this grass is just for roughage. I probably ended up with a ton or 2 of grass.

The areas I am trying to make thicker only had a plant every 4+ square foot. I would have like to have burned these areas, but it would be too dangerous. It is now ready for a notill seeding. Our local Pheasants Forever chapter has a 5' NoTill Native Grass Great Plains Drill.
 

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