How to Plant Buffalo Grass for a Goat Pasture

Overview

While you may have heard jokes about the gastric prowess of goats, the truth is that they need more than tin cans and other debris for a good diet. Buffalo grass, so named because it was the primary grass eaten by the American bison, is the only native North American grass still commonly planted as a turf grass. It is relatively easy to grow, with minimal watering and fertilizer requirements, and grows well in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 9.

Preparing the Ground

Step 1

Amend the soil in your goat pasture with organic matter such as compost if the ground is sandy or coarse.

Step 2

Fix the pasture's drainage if the area is not already well-drained. Buffalo grass doesn't survive for long in standing water.

Step 3

Test your soil's pH before planting. The ideal pH for buffalo grass is 6.0 to 7.5. Amend the soil with sulfur if the pH is too high and with limestone or wood ash if the pH is too low.

Step 4

Apply a starter fertilizer to the pasture. Fertilize according to the label directions for other grass varieties if buffalo grass is not listed.

Step 5

Till the pasture at least 6 inches deep; 12 inches is ideal to allow for good rooting of your buffalo grass.

Step 6

Rake the pasture and remove any rocks or large plant roots. Break large dirt clumps down to about pea size.

Step 7

Use a roller or rake to firm the soil. Your foot should leave an imprint no deeper than a half inch when the soil is properly packed.

Seeding the Pasture

Step 1

Water the prepared soil well so that it is damp but not soggy.

Step 2

Plant your buffalo grass pasture in late spring or early summer at a rate of one to three pounds of seed per 1000 square feet. Plant the seed at a depth of a half inch or less.

Step 3

Rake the seed gently into the soil surface, then roll the area again to ensure the seed gets good contact with the soil.

Step 4

Water the pasture every day for the first week. Keep the soil moist but don't allow puddles of standing water to form.

Step 5

Water every second day in the second week and every third day the next week. Your buffalo grass should start to emerge 10 to 14 days after planting.

Step 6

Once the grass is established and forms a good root system, reduce watering frequency and allow the ground to dry out slightly between waterings.

Things You'll Need

  • Compost or other soil amendment
  • Soil test kit
  • Sulfur
  • Limestone or wood ash
  • Grass fertilizer
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Roller
  • Buffalo grass seed

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Establishment and Maintenance of Buffalo Grass Lawns
  • Stock Seed Farms: Establishment and Management Guide for Buffalo Grass

Who Can Help

  • High Country Gardens: Buffalo Grass
  • Lawn Mania: Buffalo Grass Planting Facts
Keywords: buffalo grass, buffalo grass pasture, planting goat pasture

About this Author

Angie Mansfield is a freelance writer living and working in Minnesota. She began freelancing in 2008. Mansfield's work has appeared in online sites and publications such as theWAHMmagazine, for parents who work at home, and eHow. She is an active member of Absolute Write and Writer's Village University.