The Denver Federal Center Web Site Denver Federal Center Seed Program includes detailed instructions for planting Front Range Native Grass Seeds for optimum results. If you wish to add a layer of mulch they mention, bales are available at Arkansas Valley Seed Co. See Arkansas Valley Seed information on our web site under the heading “Eliminate Bare Ground”.
Additional Help with Your Land Management:
Maria Bumgarner, Agricultural Coordinator for the Denver Federal Center, can help you in selecting the appropriate grass seed for your acreage, and is available for site visitations and to answer questions about your soil, vegetation, or other site qualities. She can be reached at (720) 544-2869
A second source is Jennifer Cook, Small Acreage Management Coordinator for CSU Extension in Brighton, CO is happy to assist with questions, site visits (preferably more than one homeowner participating) with your land management. She can be reached at (303) 659-7004, Extension 116.
Additionally, the CARE Weed Committee suggests the following tips for over-seeding this fall:
1. Remove weeds from the area you are over-seeding with native grass seed
2. Prepare your acreage by scuffing up the bare dirt spots with a rake or turning soil with a shovel (surface should be relatively smooth before seeding)
3. Wait until the outside temperature is a consistent 50 degrees, but before the ground freezes (generally October for our mountain community). This will prevent the grass seed from attempting to germinate before our winter snows. Note: You can over-seed on top of snow.
4. Seed should be planted at a depth of approximately ¼ inch and covered with approximately 2” inches of soil. Seed that is not covered will not germinate. (1 pound of seed covers approximately 2,400 sq. ft. of land)
5. If you decide to cover the seed with a layer of seed-free & weed-free grass hay, it can be purchased at:
Arkansas Valley Seed Company, 4300 Monaco, Denver, CO 80216
1-standard bale covers approximately 650 sq. ft. If you are seeding a sloped area, it may be of benefit to also use an erosion control netting on top.
The CARE Weed Committee does recommend using Native Grass Seed from the Federal Center (Jefferson Conservation District) to over-seed our mountain properties because it does not put other native plants, communities and wildlife at risk. It is specifically designed for high altitude front range elevations of 6,000 to 10,000 feet. Their standard “Front Range Mix” (Native Southern Jeffco Granitic Mix) is composed of 7 native species, however, you may also order designed custom mixes for Pastures, Shaded Sites, Xeriscapes, Steep Rocky Sites, and Sewage Disposal Systems.
Grass Seed Ratio & Costs:
Level Acre: 10-lbs. @ $10.00/lb.
Steep Slopes/Acre: 15-lbs. @ $10.00/lb.
Wildflower Seed Per Acre: 1-lb. @ $50.00/lb.