Paddock Management Calendar

22nd April 2020

Winter 2019 was wet...as February came to an end, provisional rainfall figures suggested the UK had its wettest winter since the national records began in 1910.
Many of our fields and paddocks bore the brunt of the sustained wet weather. Whilst it’s important at this time of year to minimise the damage to paddocks by turning out horses, there is a fine line we need to tread if we have restricted acres.

As the sun has begun to shine and the ground started to dry out, we can look at repairing the damage done with the help of our friends at Suregrow, the specialist equine grass seed and fertiliser suppliers.

To help plan out paddock care over the next few months, we’ve put together a paddock care calendar containing some useful guidance on what we can all be getting on with to get our paddocks in shape and keep them that way over coming months.

We hope you find this useful.

Paddock Care Calendar 2020

April – harrow, roll and reseed

It’s hugely beneficial to harrow your paddock(s). Harrowing has the benefit of removing any dead grass and moss, aerating the grass and dispersing any poo heaps and mole hills. When the temperature starts to rise, a quality fertiliser such as Suregrow Fertiliser should be applied. Fertilising replenishes the nutrients lost over winter and gives grass the nutrients it requires to stimulate good growth.

When there is no risk of frost, paddocks can be rolled. This provides little benefit to the grass, but rolling does make the paddock look better, and it will flatten out divots and ruts. You don't want to roll if the ground is too dry.

April is the ideal time of year to reseed & repair your paddocks. The Suregrow range of grass seed mixes are blended specially for horse and pony paddocks and perfect to repairing heavily trafficked areas like as gateways and feeding areas or for larger areas. If you have horses or ponies that are prone to laminitis, then investing in a system such as a Duracorral turnout pen is an ideal way to control how much access you give to lush grass. Turnout pens of this type are simple to set up and very easy to move allowing you to regulate access to limited areas.

May-June – fertilise and weed control

Grass growth is at its greatest during May and June but be careful not to give your horse(s) too much fresh grass to avoid the risk of laminitis. If necessary, strip grazing or turnout pens can be used.

The benefits of Suregrow Fertiliser include that the slow release nitrogen produces a more sustained grass growth, without the flush associated with traditional fertilisers, and as it’s organic, you can continue to use the paddock for grazing.The benefits of Suregrow Fertiliser include that the slow release nitrogen produces a more sustained grass growth, without the flush associated with traditional fertilisers, and as it’s organic, you can continue to use the paddock for grazing.

Weed growth will be strong at this time of year so it is the ideal time to carry out weed control, which is usually done by spraying. Be sure to follow all the instructions on any weed killers used. Grazon 90 Paddock Weedkiller is suitable for spot treatment for docks, thistles and nettles, or use Barrier H Ragwort Treatment for specific ragwort weed treatment.

July-August – Pick and top

These are the true summer months for all to enjoy, in periods of drought try not to overgraze your paddock(s). In very hot weather it is good practise to keep your horse inside during the hottest part of the day and turn out overnight. Dropping picking is especially important as it reduces the grass growing area, grass scorching and will attract less flies.
Topping any excessive growth or seeded grass should be carried out, this can help

Sept-Oct – fertilise and reseed

This is the end of summer, the days get cooler and there is usually an autumn flush of grass growth. Giving your paddock(s) a top dressing of fertiliser at this time of year will encourage growth. The benefit of grass growth at this time of year is that the thicker and denser the grass is going into winter, the better it will be protected over the winter. Reseeding and patching of bare patches can be carried out at this time.

Nov-Dec

The is the start of winter. It’s time to try and protect grassland as much as possible by not over grazing paddock(s) and keep any poaching to a minimum. As always keep dropping picking whatever the weather. Protecting your paddocks now will help you prepare for the spring and for a strong start to the new year.