paddock preparation

Equine paddock preparation

How can I improve my paddock?

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin. This quote is particularly true of pasture management. There are a lot of things we cannot control at the moment, but how our paddocks fare is not one of them.

There are some essential bits of paddock maintenance that can be conducted now to prepare for the summer and next winter. They include:

• pH test the soil. If you are below 6.5pH a dose of Calciprill G-Lime will reduce acidity, increase palatability and add 32 natural trace elements to the grass. The optimum pH is 6.0-6.5 for grass growth and nutrient uptake.
• Rotate grazing paddocks frequently throughout the season, allowing approximately six weeks rest between grazing - divide fields temporarily if necessary
• Phosphate and potash indices should be at two for optimum sward performance
• Assess the soil structure – check for signs of compaction or water logging and correct any soil structure problems
• Control dangerous weeds such as ragwort by digging out and disposing of correctly
• Manage horse droppings by picking up (wholly or partially) or harrowing.

Improving your paddock - some more tips

Soil testing and reseeding

Soil test your paddock before reseeding to establish any pH and nutrient deficiencies. Mole Valley Farmers’ Horse & Pony Paddock Grass Seed Mixture is versatile and suitable for full reseeds, over-seeding and patching up (especially those muddy gateways). It is also suitable for all soil types.

Plan to reseed in the spring or autumn when there is sufficient soil warmth and moisture for good germination.

An appropriate fertiliser is important for grass growth, root development and overall plant health. Correct maintenance techniques will help maintain yield, quality, persistency and overall performance for longer periods. It will also reduce the speed of sward decline through the ingression of weed grasses, perennial weeds and poaching.