There are various options for incorporating hard‑seeded pasture legumes in your system. These include:

  1. Sow them as a standalone pasture using scarified seed in mid to late autumn. Standalone sowing produces the highest seed yield and seed size, leading to improved persistence and production.

  2. Summer sowing involves the sowing of unscarified or in-pod seed in mid to late summer. The high summer temperature breaks down some of the hard seed and seedlings emerge on opening autumn rain. Not all hard-seeded species and varieties are suitable for summer sowing. Ensure an appropriate, robust inoculant delivery system capable of surviving high summer temperatures is used to facilitate nodulation.

  3. Twin sowing is a method where a crop and pasture are sown in a one-pass operation. Unscarified seed or in-pod seed is sown with the final crop. The sowing year is simply a seed softening year for the legume seed and therefore the crop can be sown at the normal rate. The legume will emerge in the following autumn. Hard-seeded French serradella and bladder clover are suitable for use in summer sowing.

  4. Sow with a cereal crop for establishment the following year. This technique is called cover cropping and involves using a reduced rate of cereal seed. This offsets the cost of pasture establishment by using a single operation and having a crop to harvest at the end of the first year.

  5. Sow into an existing grass-based pasture. For any legume, either traditional or new hard-seeded species, it can be difficult to achieve adequate establishment in existing pastures due to competition from established pasture species.
Scarified and podded bladder clover seed
French serradella