When should I seed a Horse Paddock

Things you may need to consider when looking to seed a horse paddock:

  • All grass leys break down over time so at some point you need to improve them or start with a new ley.
  • You need to plan so that you give the new a grass a chance to establish. If sowing a new ley you should ideally keep the horses of for 12 months. If renovating an existing ley, ideally keep them off for one season.  This is important as horses can damage young grass.
  • Before you spend the money on planting a new grass ley consider getting the soil tested. If you haven't done this for a while it is a good investment. If there is an issue with the soil whatever you spend on a seed could be undermined.
  • You need to decide what it is that you want from the new grass. There can be a direct conflict between the type of grass that would give long-term safe grazing; these generally have a wide range of non ryegrass species in them.  As opposed to if you need predominantly hay production; here a mixture would generally be a narrow range of high yielding ryegrass species.

What is the right time for the Horse Paddock seeds?

Horse Paddock Horse paddock For grass seed to grow vigorously there needs to be ideally three good conditions.
  • Firstly, a reasonable consistent warm soil temperature
  • Secondly a good amount of moisture or rain
  • Lastly a well prepared seed bed
The first two clearly generally are dependent on the weather.  This means generally the best times for planting are between mid March and mid May and mid August and end of September.  As we have found over the last few years the conditions are not always right even in these periods. If they are not, then wait until they are. The better prepared the seed bed is the better establishment you will get. If sowing from new, it is generally easier to make sure you have a good seed bed. Then the seed can be broadcast and rolled afterwards.  If adding to an existing pasture, you need to cut the grass back short, harrow the ground hard, broadcast the seed and finally roll afterwards. The rolling at the end is very important as you are trying to make a good seed to soil contact.   To successfully seed a horse paddock and improve the pasture follow this simple plan.
  1. If you haven't tested the soil recently, do so.
  2. Decide if you want a mixture for grazing or for hay.
  3. Plan so that you can keep the horses off for the appropriate length of time.
  4. Plant the seeds at the time that would encourage maximum growth into a well prepared seed bed.
  Following this should result in you improving the long-term grazing for your horses. If you need any more information or advice, please feel to contact us on either 0800 085 4399, or at shop@meadowmania.co.uk.