Fort Collins Conservation District

Pasture Restoration


Step One — Soil Testing

Since every plant depends on the soil, any seeding or planting will be more successful if your soil is tested to let you know if fertilizer is needed, if salt is a problem, or other concerns.

Step Two — Weed Control

Mow them, pull them, spray them, or outgrow them with a cover crop. Weeds will take over and steal all the nutrition and water from the desired plants.

Step Three — Land Use Decision

Varieties of seed or trees, and the timing of the planting do depend on what you plan to use your pasture for. Whether for horses, chickens, or beauty — each situation will be unique.

Step Four — Ammend the Soil If Needed

Soil test results will determine this step.

Step Five — Seed Selection

Based on your planned use, soil test, water availability, and preference, there are a wide range of options to fit your need and your particular environment. Choosing the appropriate seed will increase your success. This applies to tree selection also.

Step Six — Seed Bed Preparation

Roughing up the soil with a rake or tilling it will a harrow will open up the soil so that the seed can be nurtured. If the seed falls on a mat of dry grass or a hard crust of dry Colorado clay it is less likely to grow — even if you water enough to make it germinate.

Step Seven — Seeding

Broadcast seeding, hand seeding, or seeding with a drill — choices can depend on the total area, the budget, and the current conditions.

Water if you can! The first two weeks are critical for seed establishment.