With spring in full swing, it is the perfect time to be applying fertiliser and grass seed to your paddock.

In my previous blog, I covered harrowing your paddock. This was in preparation for seeding and fertilising the bare patches of the paddock which have been poached over the winter.

As I am only wanting to seed the bare patches in the field, I will be reseeding them. Reseeding is the process where you sow seed again or anew. But before you can seed your patches you need to undertake a soil sample of the paddock. This will determine what nutrients may be lacking and what fertiliser will be suitable.

Having the correct fertiliser is essential as a horse relies on grass for many nutrients. Fertiliser is best applied in spring and autumn. Our granular fertiliser can be applied with a spreader whether that be hand, walk-behind, or towable, it will all depend on how big the area is you are fertilising and what equipment you have at hand. A spreader is far quicker and allows there to be an even coverage of seed on the chosen area. It’s important to make sure your fertiliser is applied evenly, or you can end up with patchy grass growth which encourages overgrazing in specific areas.

You may think why am I fertilising an area which has no grass growing? Well, fertilising your bare poached areas after harrowing will allow the nutrients from the fertiliser to go into the soil and allow the grass seed to grow once it is sown.

Once the fertiliser is applied after harrowing you will want to wait 7-10 days for the granules to dissolve. Once the granules have dissolved it’s now time for reseeding. The most common areas for reseeding are fences and gateways, as well as being grazed they have a lot of hoof traffic causing the ground to be churned up and bare. As I am reseeding, I will only need a 5kg bag of Paddock Repair grass seed as I don’t have a large area to cover.

Once the seed is sown you will start seeing signs of germination typically between 5 to 10 days after the seed was sown. Once the grass has germinated the grass will continue to grow at a rate of about 2/3cm per week. For the grass to establish fully it will normally take 5-6 weeks. Once the new seed is sufficiently established graze lightly for several days, before removing the livestock and allowing the area to recover for 2-3 weeks. Let the grass get to 5-6 inches long before it is properly grazed.

Due to my pony being diagnosed with Cushing’s last year, it is the perfect time to be reseeding the bare patches as his dietary needs have changed and I can start growing grass with a nutrient ratio better suited to him. This is also when it is more important, he has the correct fertiliser as the fertiliser will determine what nutrients are going in the soil to promote the grass growth.