Now autumn is here, and the weather is getting cooler it is time to start getting your paddock ready for winter. 

There are many ways to get your paddock ready for winter but here are the top two I would recommend. 

Harrowing in autumn is a recommended part of paddock care through the cooler months. Harrowing will aid the germination of grass over winter, removing dead grass from the base of the healthy grass. Harrowing will also disperse molehills, rake moss or weeds as well as letting light to the base of the sward benefiting the finer grasses. 

With the recent rainfall, poaching will have started in gateways and along fence lines so harrowing along these will help level out the uneven ground. If your gateways or fence lines are not too poached; matts, woodchips or gravel can help minimise the damage to areas which are going to get poached. It is also advised if you have very wet fields to avoid grazing them as this will avoid poaching over winter. 

Another way to help your grass through winter is aeration. This is a way of introducing air into your grass. After our long summer of drought, dry and warm weather, the surface of the soil becomes harder and compacted. Aerating helps the air circulation in your grass as it lets stale carbon dioxide out and in turn makes room for new oxygen that will go in. It will also help break through piled-up thatch in high-maintenance areas.  

If you have overseeded your paddock this year it is advised not to aerate your paddock. If you aerate after overseeding you run the risk of pulling out young, newly germinated plants, same goes for harrowing, do not harrow if you have over seeded this, Autumn. 

During winter not all the paddock is grazed so it is the perfect time to be harrowing and aerating your grass. Once you have completed the aeration and harrowing you will need to leave your paddock to rest for 2-3 weeks, as it is now too late to be overseeding.