Reseeding is an expensive investment which can deliver excellent returns. When we decide to reseed a field, it is natural to want to get something extra out of it in order to achieve a quick return on investment. For many, the safest bet is to sow only grass and clover seed, however there are other options to consider:
- Sowing arable silage or whole-crop silage and under sowing the grass seed
- Sowing a nurse crop of cereal (reduced rate) along with the grass
- Sowing fodder rape or Typhon along with the grass
- Sowing Westerwold grass with perennial ryegrass, to achieve early yields in the first season
While all the above options will give extra yield in the year sown, there are many associated pitfalls which will need to be considered:
- Whole-crop will be cut first, therefore you cannot early graze to promote tillering.
- Heavy whole-crop can smother young grass and block out light required to grow properly. This will result in very disappointing crops of grass.
- Post-emergence weed control is not possible on reseeds without killing all brassicas (kale, rape, Typhon and turnips). The same will apply to whole-crop containing peas in the mix. Heavy crops may help to discourage annual weeds, however docks are very resilient.
- If Westerwold is being added to the mix, while it is not persistent, it has the capacity to reseed itself from dropped seeds and heading will be earlier than with perennial ryegrass. If these seeds mature and drop off, a new crop of Westerwold can grow, which can be worse than weeds. To avoid this, seed heads must be cut or topped before they mature.
Before making any decisions, it is important to weigh up the pitfalls based on your own situation and see if you can manage them. Always bear in mind that you are sowing a crop of grass for 6 to 8 years, therefore do not take too much risk.
The most important thing is to establish the grass properly. Always pay attention to the detail around achieving a good reseed:
- Soil test and use results to develop a fertiliser program.
- Apply required lime. Min-till requires lime in every situation and follow the soil test recommendations otherwise.
- Apply 3 bags of 10-10-20 per acre or follow soil test recommendations.
- Make sure post-emergence weed control is carried out 4-6 weeks after emergence. (Clover leaf needs to be unfolded). Use Legumex DB and add Triade if chickweed is a problem.
- Watch out for slug and insect damage and treat accordingly.
- If possible, graze lightly to promote tillering when grass is ready.
Tipperary Grass Seed in conjunction with good decisions will give excellent results. For any further advice on reseeding or to choose a suitable grass mixture from the Tipperary Grass Seed Range, click here or contact your local Agritech distributor.