Interseeding into Warm Season Grasses
Warm season grasses can be tremendously productive, but have a very short growing season, letting a large amount of sunlight go unutilized. Interseeding a cool season species can add to total production, extend the grazing season, improve soil biology, and fix nitrogen if legumes are used. While we are not suggesting this as a practice in pristine native grasslands, many pastures have been broadcast sprayed with herbicides and have had their legume and forb component eliminated. Desirable characteristics of a species to interseed into native grass would include high cool season productivity, low competitiveness to the perennial grass, forage quality, and ability to fix nitrogen. Species that may merit consideration with this practice include sweet clover, winter lentils, crimson clover, and balansa clover. We encourage experimentation with this practice on a limited basis to learn which species are most successful.