Most fields will need a little care to help them recover well after the winter. It does involve a bit of hard work, but it’s well worth it and will ensure your horses have plenty of grazing for years to come. Here are some top tips for recovering your paddocks…
1. Poached land can be rescued but timing is very important. If the ground is too wet, using a tractor will make a real mess. If the ground has dried out too much, then hoofprints and ruts will not roll back leaving you with an uneven, rough field.
2. Start the renovation work when the land is drying out and the temperature is warming up. Watch the weather forecast!
3. Over-sow poached or damaged areas, as leaving them will allow unwanted weeds to invade and fill the gaps. Grass seed can be spread by hand, drill (a tool that positions seeds in the soil and covers them) or fertiliser spreader.
4. Harrow the field. This will tear out dead grass and moss and make a partial seed bed, giving your seeds the best chance to grow. Ideally, you should harrow as a matter of routine, particularly if the dorppings are not being collected from the field regularly.
5. Ater the seed has been sown, lightly harrow the land then roll it.
Find the rest of the top 10 tips to greener grass in the April 2013 issue of Horse&Rider magazine.