Perennial ryegrass pastures are the main feed for dairy cows in temperate regions. Alternatives to increase farm sustainability such as naturalized pastures have been proposed, and only limited knowledge exists regarding their potential as a forage source for grazing dairy systems. A field study was undertaken between September 2006 and September 2009 in Valdivia, Chile, to assess the effect of three pasture renovation strategies [naturalized fertilized (NFP); cultivated fertilized Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens mixture (RGWC); and cultivated fertilized Bromus valdivianus, Dactylis glomerata, Holcus lanatus, Lolium perenne and Trifolium repens mixture (MIXED)] over a naturalized degraded pasture on herbage production, botanical change and chemical composition. The three renovation strategies increased total herbage accumulation. During 2007–2008 and 2008–2009, the naturalized fertilized pasture produced similar amounts of dry matter as the cultivated fertilized mixtures. A higher grazing efficiency (the proportion of total herbage mass accumulation, removed by grazing dairy cows) was estimated for NNFP, RGWC and MIXED. Fertilization and liming increased the proportions of Lolium perenne and Bromus spp. at the expense of Agrostis capillaris and Trifolium repens. In the cultivated mixtures, the amount of Lolium perenne tended to decrease over time. Crude protein concentration and digestibility tended to be higher for naturalized fertilized and perennial ryegrass–white clover pastures throughout the experiment. These results suggest that fertilization and liming of a low-producing naturalized pasture might be a sound alternative for pasture improvement.