Turning Mud back to Grass

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARain, rain and more rain – has led to muddy fields and paddocks this spring. Here Peter Hunter, of Peter Hunter Seeds, offers invaluable advice on how to help our paddocks recover after the unprecedented rainfall.

As we look to spring, paddocks everywhere will have suffered as a result of one of the worst winters for rainfall on record and a large number will be nothing more than mud.

Many will have been completely submerged under flood water and once the ground begins to dry out there will be much work to do before grass is in plentiful supply.

All grassland tends to revert over time to the indigenous varieties that were there before the field was last sown. Indigenous varieties tend to be what we would nowadays call ‘weed grasses’. These grasses tend not only to be invasive but are less palatable, less productive and less nutritious.

Weather conditions such as we have experienced this winter, speeds up the rate at which reversion will take place. Much of the fertility that better grasses thrive on will have been leached away by incessant rainfall, allowing poorer grasses to thrive.

So, what is the answer?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAA complete re-seed would be the best option but this is not always possible for those who only have limited acreage. In this case the field or paddock can be over-sown; however, it is important to pick the right mixture.

Choosing the right mixture?

Mixtures are designed for two main functions: length of time they should be productive and the use for which they are required.

The length of time for short term productivity is up to three years; medium term productivity is up to five years and long term being over five years.

To complicate matters even further, grazing mixtures can be divided for cattle, sheep and horses and to get value for money it is imperative to choose the right mixture for your needs.

If you are buying grass seed for grazing land for horses a mixture such as Peter Hunters Newbury Paddock mixture would suit your needs.

Specially designed for horses and ponies, the Newbury Paddock Mixture has been a best seller within the equestrian market for many years, providing long lasting grazing with a wide range of ‘bottom’ grasses.

Prices of Peter Hunter Seeds are down on last year and if you buy on line before the end of March there will be a 2.5% discount for early ordering.

Peter Hunter Seeds offers advice on all aspects of grassland management and supplies grass seeds for the equine and agricultural industry.

For more information please contact Peter Hunter Seeds on 07831 442415 or visit www.hunterseeds.com

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