TOP 10 TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR PADDOCK FOR WINTER

 
What we want to achieve with our paddock is a strong, healthy sward of grass that will cope with flooding in winter and drought in summer. Paying some attention to your paddock at this time of year will pay dividends in the long run and ultimately save you money in feed and supplements.
 
1. With constant grazing and trampling by livestock and horses, the soil can become compacted.
This can lead to poor drainage and an increase in weed growth with the net result being less grass and unhealthy soil.
Aerate the paddock each year in the autumn.
 
2. Pick up droppings!
 
3. Treat for weeds before doing anything else, particularly biannuals such as Ragwort. 
 
4. Top the paddock where required.
 
5. Rotate your grazing and don't allow the grass to be grazed down to nothing. This will allow weeds to take hold and keepingthe grass a little longer will help protect the soil underneath. 
 
 
6. If you have to turn out in the winter, try to have one 'sacrificial' area only that can be repaired in the spring.
 
7. If you are going to turn out in the winter close a paddock up in August/ September and treat with a specialist paddock fertiliser
letting the grass grow long before using it in November/December.
 
8. Harrow, over seed and treat. This will give your paddock a great start next spring. 
 
9. Rotate your paddock if possible or create a bark chip turnout area. 
 
10. Finally, a general tidy up, scarify, autumn fertilisation treatment and return your paddock to a smart, well-managed finish. 

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