Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Re-seed or Plough?  (Read 3208 times)


  • Joined Apr 2009
  • aberdeenshire
Re-seed or Plough?
« on: June 18, 2014, 08:25:00 pm »
Due to our slowly expanding flock, we are thinking about trying to produce our own hay.

Our grass is most definitely not good enough as it is at present although it has had a very light application of fertilizer for the last three years.

My question is "what is the best way of improving our grass in order to make it good enough to make our own hay?"

One source has told us that if we spread the appropriate seed and fertilize it, in time we should produce a good enough grass. But I must admit I remain unconvinced?

Or is it best to start from scratch and plough and re seed etc?

Thanks for your knowledge in advance.        Fishy


  • Joined Oct 2011
Re: Re-seed or Plough?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2014, 09:03:01 pm »
I think it depends what sort of hay you want to make. If you want rye grass seed hay plough and reseed, fertilise. You will get a lot of grass but you need someone that knows what they are doing to make it and it will take longer to dry, so haylage may be a better bet.
 If you harrow, mow, over sow, fertilise, what you have it will be meadow hay and will be not so dense a crop. Its a lot more forgiving as it tends to be finer grasses and more suitable for amateur production. Finding someone to do the baling is always a problem.


  • Joined Nov 2012
  • Nr Crediton in Devon
Re: Re-seed or Plough?
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2014, 09:25:37 pm »
just a few thoughts.
As Honeyend says it does rather depend on what you want to get from it. without actually seeing what you've got there already its hard to advise re reseed V renovation. assuming you will be  grazing the land too, most good hay/ graze mixtures contain a good range of rye grasses and fescue
switching from a grazing only system with relatively low stocking rate to more animals and also taking a cut places a much higher demand on soil nutrients, in particular Phosphate and potash so I would suggest a soil test on which you can then base accurate fertiliser applications . any reseed is particularly sensitive to soil acidity so before forking out on expensive seed and labour I would always get the ph at least to 6.
whether its a full reseed because the field is full of docks, thistles and couch ( which I doubt) or a scratch and patch) harrow then broadcast (or direct drill - its prob best to wait till later in the summer or early autumn before doing anything now. prolonged dry spells not good for a new ley.


  • Joined May 2013
Re: Re-seed or Plough?
« Reply #3 on: June 26, 2014, 11:39:18 pm »
it also depends on the ley you have. some grass has a very short life span, (like a hybrid hen) and needs reseeding every few years, others are more permanent pasture, and then theres the inbetweeners.  :eyelashes:
our grass old stuff but its fine for natives ponies, but never really got sheep fat.


  • Joined Sep 2010
Re: Re-seed or Plough?
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2014, 12:14:40 pm »
I'm not a fan of ploughing up grassland. Always the traditionalist, I like to see established pastureland aka 'the old days'.

We have a field that was ploughed and reseeded with Rye grasses when we bought the place. Gives us hard coarse hay which I don't like, but, that's what they sowed.....


Plough then rotovate or plough then harrow?

Started by Tina Turkey (10.83)

Replies: 7
Views: 16412
Last post March 31, 2012, 11:14:45 pm
by Small Farmer
Aberdeenshire - trying to fhire someone to plough/harrow

Started by docsal (7.78)

Replies: 6
Views: 2918
Last post March 14, 2017, 05:39:04 pm
by clydesdaleclopper
Mole Plough for compacted clay field

Started by Taliesin (7.7)

Replies: 6
Views: 3055
Last post February 19, 2017, 06:58:52 am
by Taliesin
When to seed

Started by Berkshire Boy (6.57)

Replies: 3
Views: 2496
Last post April 01, 2012, 09:01:45 am
by Small Farmer
To seed or not to seed

Started by thepebblesfarm (6.57)

Replies: 2
Views: 1348
Last post April 23, 2018, 10:40:40 am
by landroverroy

Forum sponsors

FibreHut Energy Helpline Thomson & Morgan Time for Paws Scottish Smallholder & Grower Festival Ark Farm Livestock Movement Service

© The Accidental Smallholder Ltd 2003-2023. All rights reserved.

Design by Furness Internet

Site developed by Champion IS