Seasonal paddock care

Seasonal paddock care

Autumn is almost upon us and now is a good time to start thinking about our paddocks.  Putting a good plan in place now will benefit your paddocks come the spring.  Correct care and maintenance will promote a denser sward, making it harder for weeds to establish themselves. 

 

It is a good idea to have your soil analysed; testing can provide you with valuable information about your paddock.  Generally, soils that are slightly alkaline are best for growing pasture with a pH of 6.5 being considered about perfect. Should your soil analysis show any irregularities you have time to correct these before the new growth in the spring.

 

Topping before autumn is also recommended.  Try not to leave any grass cuttings or clippings behind if you need to leave your horses in the field. Topping stimulates the grass to grow, increasing the density of the sward.  It also levels out the length of the grass which can help reduce the amount of weeds; horses often leave long patches of grass which can promote weed growth.

 

Closer to autumn it’s a good idea to fertilise your paddocks; remember if you can’t take your horse out of the paddock you need to use a fertilizer that is safe to graze on.

 

If your paddocks are prone to becoming waterlogged then think about putting drainage ditches in, and if you already have them in your fields make sure they are clear. Now is also a good time to carry out any maintenance on field gates, fencing and water troughs as well as fixing areas that tend to get muddy such as gateways.

 

Don’t forget if your paddock is near sycamore and oak trees you need to regularly check for sycamore seeds and acorns in your paddock.