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Following last year’s drought, most reseeding intentions were cast aside due to grass shortages. Now is an appropriate time to implement reseeding plans, placing particular focus on fields that have little or no rye grasses in the sward.  Choose a suitable grass seed mixture from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) Recommended List that best suits your farm in collaboration with your farm advisor.

Planning and preparation

As with sowing any crop, planning and preparation is key. A soil sample should be taken to a depth of 10cm from beneath the soil surface for min-till or direct sowing methods, however when using the plough-till sowing method, ensure to take your soil sample from the top of the ploughed ground. Soil samples must be representative of the area being sampled and ensure you have no contamination from previous organic and inorganic applications.

A standard soil sample will indicate soil pH and soil Phosphorus (P), Potassium (K) status, however it is worth testing soil for Calcium and Magnesium levels and ratios to identify what type of lime to apply; Calcium Lime or Magnesium Lime. Where lime is required, it should be spread on top of the ploughed ground and worked into the soil for good incorporation. Lime can be spread at up to 7.5 t/ha in one application. Granulated lime can be used as a short term, quick solution and applied at 3 bags (50 kg) per acre. The target pH of a clay soil is 6.3 or 5.5 for more peaty type soil.

 

Organic and chemical fertiliser application

If applying organic manures, only use complement to chemical fertiliser compounds. Organic manures can also be spread onto ploughed ground but refrain from using excessive amounts as this can interfere with seed placement and germination.

When choosing a suitable fertiliser compound, it is recommended to choose a high P and K compound. P and K are essential for providing energy and encouraging vigorous root development of the young seedling after germination.

Grass seed requires low levels of Nitrogen (N) in early establishment. Excessive N at an early stage will only increase weed dominance and hinder the growth of the new grass. It is important to note considerable amounts of N may be released by mineralization which will be dependent on the previous crop. Good practice is to limit the amount of N at sowing to a maximum of 30 units/ac and apply the balance later, in line with index requirements. Grazing is recommended for new reseeds to aid tillering. Target a 60-day turnaround from seeding to first grazing and aim to graze the sward for the first time between 650 – 700 kg DM /ha.

P & K rates for Grassland (kg/Ha):

Soil Index

1

2

3

4

P

60

40

30

0

K

110

75

50

30

Source: Teagasc

     
         

Target Fertilisers Compounds generally advised for the successful establishment of reseeds:    

10-10-20

10-5-25+S

12-8-20+S

To view our full range of fertilisers for grassland, click here.

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