Everyone knows that you should only choose one variety of seed for your horse pasture. This monotone blend will be easier for farmers to tend, and therefore provide a better food supply in the long run for your equine friends.
This is a popular belief, but the truth is that horses, like humans, do well with a more varied diet. If you work with a supplier who knows their stuff, they’ll be able to provide you with a mixture of seeds that will bless your horses with a healthy, delicious blend of pasture.
The true challenge is figuring out what grows best in the region where you tend your fields. Horse breeders and ranches exist across the United States and Canada, and they deal with wildly different climates. A breeder in Alabama won’t be able to plant the same blend of pasture as his counterpart in Alberta.
That’s why Hancock Seed has developed three different blends of our Horse Pasture Grass Seed Mix, each specialized for our continent’s differing climates. These blends feature a variety of grassy pasture for your horses.
There are some things that all three mixes share, however. They’re all developed with dual purpose pasture advantages in mind, combining close grazing capability as well as forage and hay gathering. All of Hancock’s blends also serve as great forage options for alpaca, goats, sheep and other grazing animals.
So what blend is best for you?
This blend is best for those in the Southeast, from Kentucky on down to Florida, as well as most of Texas and the lower halves of Arizona, New Mexico, and just the Southern tip of California (see map for full range).
As residents of these states know, it can get hot! So hot that managing pasture and ensuring your horses have food year-round becomes an issue. Hancock has blended some of its most drought-resistant grasses to create our Warm Climate Horse Pasture Grass Seed Mix. No rain? No problem.
This blend consists of 25 percent Common Bermuda, 25 percent Pensacola Bahia, 25 percent Argentine Bahia, and 25 percent Rye Grass (or Brown Top Millet, depending on availability). Plant 100 lbs. per acre, along with 300 lbs. of 16-04-08 fertilizer. You can also overseed with 30 to 40 lbs. of Rye during October or November to allow for better Winter grazing.
Speak to someone in the “transition zone” between warm and cool climates, and you’ll know how wacky the weather can be. Our friends in Ohio experienced both snow and temperatures in the ‘70s this year! This Central zone overlaps with the Warm zone a little, starting at the Virginias and North Carolina on the East Coast, and moving gradually southeast, across the Central Plains and eventually Central California.
Accordingly, those who raise horses in these areas need a pasture blend that can take the heat when things warm up, as well as settle in comfortably for a chilly Winter.
This blend consists of 30 percent Endophyte-free Tall Fescue, 30 percent Orchard Grass, 20 percent Timothy Grass, and 20 percent Annual Ryegrass. Plant 50 to 100 lbs. per acre, along with 150 to 300 lbs. of 16-04-08 fertilizer, respectively.
If you live in the Northeast, Pacific Northwest, the Northern Plains States or Canada (see map of range), you have very different problems from us Florida folk. You need a blend that’s going to be tolerant to the cold, and preferably late maturing to continue providing forage when notoriously cold temperatures move in.
Our blend combines 30 percent Endophyte-free Fescue, 20 percent Timothy Grass, and 50 percent Orchard Grass (renowned for its late maturity). Start new pastures by sowing 30 to 60 lbs. per acre, or overseed during the lead-up to the cool season by distributing 20 to 40 lbs. per acre.