Soil is an easily over looked, yet very precious commodity. As a rule of thumb this should be the starting place for all planning with regard to grassland maintenance – for whatever its use.
Whether it is a weed infested, horse sick paddock, general purpose grazing field for sheep or cattle, or simply amenity grassland, ensuring the soil has the correct balance of nutrients, trace elements and minerals is essential and will greatly assist in making it ‘fit for purpose’.
Feeding your soil with appropriate soil conditioners – particularly where it has been cut for hay or haylage, will replace the phosphate and potash that has been eroded naturally over time, or removed with the crop.
Fertilisers, lime and soil conditioners can be applied spring, summer and autumn, and little and often is the best approach
Benefits of applying soil conditioners include:-
- Guaranteed healthy root and shoot structure to survive the winter and grow well through the spring, summer and autumn – whether you need only minimal grass growth for ponies or vigorous growth for fattening stock or making hay and haylage
- Helps leafy grass to develop; it is short stemmy grasses that store the sugar reserves that can cause laminitis in ponies
- Helps maintain a healthy, attractive, dense sward which discourages weeds
- Helps prevent overgrazing which allows weeds to flourish