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Reseeding: Top Tips

Once the decision to reseed has been made, following these steps will help you achieve the full potential of the reseed. 

  • Address any compaction or drainage issues within the field and clear drainage ditches to ensure all outflows are working correctly.
  • Destroy the old sward using a product containing glyphosate. Ensure there is sufficient new growth for the chemical to be taken up and that an appropriate rate is applied under correct conditions. Whilst this treatment will control actively growing plants it will not kill dormant weed seed in the soil.
  • Walk in a ‘W’ around the field taking soil samples to a depth of 15cm if ploughing or 7.5cm if only cultivating the surface, to analyse the pH, P and K indices.
  • Apply any farmyard manure.
  • Plough and press.
  • Apply seedbed fertiliser as suggested from the soil sample results. Apply any lime to achieve 6.5 pH at a maximum of 5t/ha (2t/acre), split-dress if more is required.
  • Work down to prepare a fine, firm seedbed.
  • Ring roll.
  • Choose the correct Agrii grass mixture to suit your management regime. Remember to choose a no clover mixture if significant weed problems are expected. You can then introduce the clover at a later date once a herbicide has been applied to the sward.
  • Drill or broadcast the seed onto the rolled seedbed to a depth of 1cm. If broadcasting lightly harrow and then roll. If drilling just roll to ensure maximum seed to soil contact. Rolling will also help to reduce moisture loss. Perennial ryegrass will not germinate until the average daily soil temperatures are above 5°C and clovers above 8°C. Temperatures need to rise to achieve satisfactory germination and growth.
  • Once established, pull at the grass blades with your thumb and finger. If the root system is pulled out then the plant is not ready to be grazed. If the roots stay in the ground and the grass blades rip off then graze periodically from 8-12cm down to 4-6cm. This will encourage the plant to tiller out and help achieve a dense leafy sward. Gentle first grazings also allow sunlight to reach and stimulate the grass tiller buds and the clover’s growing points. Sheep or young stock are ideal for first grazings as they are less likely to poach the developing sward and they will also minimise any potential soil compaction in wet conditions.
  • Weed control in the new ley is usually necessary to ensure a good establishment and to avoid a gappy sward. Consult your
    agronomist with regards to timings and application of a suitable herbicide.
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