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Bluegrass Pastures

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Bluegrass pastures are grown on millions of acres in North America. These are perennial pastures that can last for many years with good supervision and grazing habits. Bluegrasses are one of the few forage grasses that actually improve the root system through closer grazing or the removal of blade material through mowing. Pasture usage covers almost any foraging species from cattle, horses, sheep, etc.

Please Note that Seedland is providing this page on bluegrass pastures for your information. We do not, at the present time, sell bluegrass seed for pastures.

The best adapted areas include the mid-west to eastern parts of the U. S. in well drained soils originally of limestone bases. Bluegrass is a very palatable  and high in nutrition. White clover and birds foot trefoil is planted as companion legumes in many areas that are of lower fertility to boost the nitrogen level of the soil and improve the productivity of the bluegrass pasture.

Bluegrass pastures are ideal for the heavy traffic of cattle and horse herds and when fully developed into the natural thick sod that bluegrass is know for, the damage is minimal.

Many grasses will not tolerate the close grazing from sheep and goats     and continue producing thick foliage from year to year without sustained damage as  bluegrass pastures can..

Pastures of bluegrass are eaten by almost all livestock due to the high palatability level and favored by ranchers and farmers alike particularly because of the sod density and rapid rate of re-growth following close grazing. This is one of the few foraging grasses that are stimulated by the removal of the plant material into better production. The dense formed sod prevents the hoofs of herd animals from damaging the pasture and helps prevent erosion under heavy herd conditions.

Establishment with companion legume crops can supply extra nitrogen levels and are quite successful. White clover is one of the best companion legumes grown that add extra vitamins and minerals along with diversifying forage material. Bluegrass pastures are lifetime plantings but need reseeding occasionally along with the legumes. This would be a great time to improve the variety that is already established  instead of renovating the whole pasture.

Kentucky Bluegrass Pasture Management

Bluegrasses generally grow better in soils of higher fertility and more moisture; when grown in soils not meeting the criteria additional nitrogen has to be added and/or the planting of legumes that co-exist in the pasture with the bluegrass. Bluegrass also grows best when extra lime is added to soils deficient to maintain pH levels of 6.5 to 8.0. Pastures planted in dryer climates will have to be irrigated when rainfall isn't sufficient. Controlled grazing with three to six inches of blade length will help keep the bluegrass tillering and building better root systems, this in return will develop into the sod density to withstand herd impact and lessen the damage that could otherwise damage the pasture. Under grazing can result in the grass becoming clumpy and forming erosion areas between the grass sections which can lead to the grass thinning which can give rise to disease or insects moving in more easily.

Pasture soil testing should be done every two to three years to provide the best answers for the amounts of nitrogen and lime that may or may not be needed.

Legumes are planted in pastures to help return nitrogen to the soil and improve fertility. Clovers and birdfoot trefoil are also favorites for many animals and provide extra nutrition and diversity in foraging. Although bluegrass may never have to be replanted the legumes that are chosen may need to be reseeded from time to time. The additional benefits adds to a well managed pasture.

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