How to Seed Timothy Hay


Timothy hay (Phleum pratense) has a shallow, fibrous root system and is considered a perennial bunch grass. The base of timothy hay, right above the root system at soil level, contains a bulbous structure that stores a large amount of carbohydrates. Grass stems live two years with an ongoing production of new, continuous shoots. Widely grown for hay, the grass makes an excellent food source for horses. Timothy hay grows best in a warm, humid environment and is easily seeded in late summer or late winter to early spring.

Step 1

Till the area that is to be planted in Timothy hay. Remove all weed growth and discard.

Step 2

Apply 50 pounds of nitrogen per acre two weeks to one month prior to planting. Till the fertilizer into the soil.

Step 3

Rake the soil flat. Remove any new weed growth by had and discard.

Step 4

Spread 2 to 4 lbs. of Timothy hay per acre using a seeder. Apply seeds evenly by walking slowly back and forth.

Step 5

Rake the seeds into the soil; 1/4 to 1/2 inch of soil should cover the seeds to offer protection.

Step 6

Roll the seedbed using a roller. Rolling will help firm the seeds into the soil and compact the soil over the seeds to help prevent the wind from blowing the seeds away or birds from consuming them.

Step 7

Water the Timothy seedbed throughly. The soil will need to be kept moist for germination to take place.

Things You'll Need

  • Nitrogen
  • Tiller
  • Rake
  • Seeder
  • Roller


  • University of Kentucky: Timothy Hay
  • Montana State University: Timothy Hay
  • Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives: Establishment of Timothy Hay for Export

Who Can Help

  • Washington State University: Timothy Hay
Keywords: growing Timothy hay, seeding Timothy hay, planting Timothy hay

About this Author

Kimberly Sharpe is a freelance writer with a diverse background. She has worked as a Web writer for the past four years. She writes extensively for Associated Content where she is both a featured home improvement contributor (with special emphasis on gardening) and a parenting contributor. She also writes for Helium. She has worked professionally in the animal care and gardening fields.