NFU Mutual Smallholding Insurance

Author Topic: Fertilizer?  (Read 242 times)

Russpig

  • Joined Aug 2017
Fertilizer?
« on: March 15, 2019, 12:01:54 pm »
We have 5 acres and run 13 lambing ewes on it.

Interested to find out what's best to fertilize the grass with and when to do it?

Just planning on doing by hand as access for tractors etc not good. Plus the fields aren't that big.
Any help much appreciated!
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shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2019, 12:53:01 pm »
Soil sample analysis  would be a starting point otherwise  just guessing on fert type and do you need lime ? ,speak to your local ag merchant

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2019, 05:55:02 pm »
We never use fertiliser on our land.  We have encouraged a variety of herbs and clover which feed both the soil and the sheep.  Otherwise, sheep dung  :poo:  is all it gets, as the sheep roam.  The new grass is available perhaps slightly later in spring than our fertilising neighbours, but we never get grass staggers or any other problem with sudden weak growth.  Once the grass does start to grow, our sward is a noticeably darker green than the fertilised versions, and our hay doesn't lodge so badly.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

Russpig

  • Joined Aug 2017
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2019, 08:02:06 pm »
Interesting point with the clover!
Is this something I could maybe do instead,
Scatter some clover seeds about the field?

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2019, 08:20:09 pm »
Don't use straight nitrogen as it isn't balanced. As you have limited access I am presuming you aren't cutting for hay. Therefore if just grazing something like a 25-5-5, or 20-10-10 will be fine. Or if you want to encourage clover, use a fertiliser that is higher in phosphate and clover will spring up all over as if by magic. It's not worth paying to get it tested for N, P and K with only 5 acres. If you have good grass that is being evenly eaten down and does not have a lot of weeds it is unlikely to need lime. But lime testing is usually free so might be worth doing if in doubt. You can get lime granules in small bags that can be spread with a hand spreader.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 08:38:57 pm by landroverroy »
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

shep53

  • Joined Jan 2011
  • Argyll
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2019, 08:57:44 pm »
Low Phosphate & Potash can affect growth , nutritional value , quality of grass and can be bought as straights and if the PH is wrong it seriously affects  the grass and its response to npk .   

Fleecewife

  • Joined May 2010
  • South Lanarkshire
    • Wester Gladstone Hebridean Sheep
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2019, 11:09:08 pm »
Interesting point with the clover!
Is this something I could maybe do instead,
Scatter some clover seeds about the field?


We raked our fields to create places where seeds could take root, then sprinkled clover and, separately a grazing mix suggested by the seed company after a visit.  The ground was then rolled and left to get on with it.  It has definitely improved the sward for what we want - nutritious grazing.  If you use fertilizer then the clover doesn't grow.  It's an action which takes a couple of years to bear fruit, and is a solution for permanent pasture.
www.scothebs.co.uk

Do something today that your future self will thank you for - plant a tree

Draco dormiens nunquam titillandus - let sleeping dragons lie

landroverroy

  • Joined Oct 2010
Re: Fertilizer?
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2019, 12:57:07 pm »
Interesting point with the clover!
Is this something I could maybe do instead,
Scatter some clover seeds about the field?


  If you use fertilizer then the clover doesn't grow.  It's an action which takes a couple of years to bear fruit, and is a solution for permanent pasture.


Sorry to disagree Fleecewife but fertiliser, as an unspecified quality, does not necessarily discourage clover. Nitrogen on its own suppresses it, especially in large amounts, but phosphorus greatly encourages the growth of clover and you get it growing on fields where you never noticed it before. If you have a field with plenty of clover, you can manage without additional nitrogen, but there is nothing wrong with applying a small amount of a compound in spring to get your grass growing sooner.   
Rules are made:
  for the guidance of wise men
  and the obedience of fools.

 

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