Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: reviving woodland grass  (Read 4764 times)


  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
reviving woodland grass
« on: March 07, 2012, 09:07:01 pm »
I have 3 acres of grass under mature woodland which has been ungrazed for years, and not a lot of weeds. Last autumn i cut it right down, and it has rotted away quite well. What i really need to know, is there any benefit in harrowing the grass say monthly, to get air into it and clear out the old tufts etc? It is my intention to get some sheep of my own onto it in the next few months, but in the interim i can get some hill sheep onto it to tidy it up, and when they go back to the hills i will cut it monthly as required?
Any thoughts?


  • Joined Aug 2009
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 02:10:23 pm »
You won't, I don't think, get much good grass in a wooded area. The trees will take all the nutrients. Pigs may be a better bet? :-\ What do others think?


  • Guest
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2012, 02:16:43 pm »
I'd definately go for pigs too rather than sheep  ;)
And that's not just cos I'm biased towards pigs - the Forrestry commision have/had several sites of mature woodland where they kept wild boar to manage the forrest as it would have been done in ancient times  :thumbsup:
I'm not suggesting for a minute that you get Wild Boar  :o but a couple of Large Blacks or Tamworths would get it turned, de-weeded and fertilised in no time and you'd have some tasty pork & bacon to keep you going  :yum:


  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2012, 08:56:31 pm »
I have always wanted to get pigs, but to be honest i think it would be a shame to waste the ground on this patch with the pigs, as the grass is actually quite good when grazed. However i also have about 1.5 acres that are on a semi steep bank - which is like a jungle and this is where i want to put the pigs eventually, once i have tested my stock management with sheep?
I have been told by my neighbour farmer to harrow thoroughly in April and graze and cut as required, it should come back a lot better for getting air and light into?


  • Guest
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2012, 09:31:02 am »
If you don't want it rotivated get some Kunes onto it instead  ;)
Just my personal opinion here (and I don't keep sheep) but I think pigs are easier to manage from a health and welfare/beginners' point of view and as you're out giving them a pound of hard feed daily, you would spot any problems far quicker than you might with sheep - hopefully there will be some shepherds along soon to advise. ;)
But if you want to start with sheep then yes, I'd harrow first.


  • Joined Oct 2007
  • Barry, Angus, Scotland
    • The Accidental Smallholder
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 10:43:36 am »
I am trying to get hold of a tine harrow to give ours a good going over. We have a small grass harrow that would be fine for breaking up the dung but the grass needs a good scratch to get all the thatch and moss out. Hopefully, I'll be able to afford to buy one next year - or if I can't find one to hire, I'll just have to bite the bulllet this year.

robert waddell

  • Guest
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2012, 10:54:06 am »
normally with any post i try to visualise what is being described  before either writing or not
this one i just cant get to grips with it
is it a woodland
is it a field with a few trees interspaced (policies)
never seen a wood before that you work as  a field with a tractor
you will fall of your seats with this one  is it grass         it may well be green is it ryegrass /timothy/cooksfoot/meadow fescue/clover/knotgtass or just fugg a short dense grass
as to putting pigs in the grass gets less and less  every time you do this unless you leave it for about a year to recover       also pigs on hills or slopes  with you being in the west and a lot of rain you will get soil erosion
if you adopt a minimalistic feeding policy the pigs will eat the bark of the trees they will be out more squelching through the ground which in turn takes longer to recover
the choice is yours  if you want it a blackened bomb site with roots earthed up and chewed pig is the way
if you want it green and grazed    sheep
your friend is right  harrow it   harrowing areates the surface encourages growth and tears out the old grass and moss
any livestock should be looked at least twice a day even more just for the exercise it is amazing what you observe when doing the rounds :farmer:


  • Joined Jul 2011
  • Pilton
  • Caution! May spontaneously talk rabbits!
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2012, 07:49:00 pm »
From a sheepie point of view if it were me, if this ground has not been grazed by sheep for ages, I would hold out until I had my own sheep rather than bring in someone elses.
When you get your own, pen them up away from your grass dose for parasites then turn them out the following day.
Virgin pasture/grazing is wonderful if you can put clean animals onto it, you shouldn't get any parasite problems. :thumbsup:
Last time I had sheep I was lucky enough to have grazing that hadn'nt been used in years, I did the above and never had to worm, debug or treat foot problems in the whole time I used it.
It was bliss :love:
My sheep would adore the ground you describe!

(sorry cos that wasn't what you where asking but I thought I would butt in anayway ;D)
We'll turn the dust to soil,
Turn the rust of hate back into passion.
It's not water into wine
But it's here, and it's happening.
but passive.

Bring the peace back


  • Joined May 2011
  • north ayrshire
Re: reviving woodland grass
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2012, 08:15:41 pm »
There is 80+ mature trees over 3 acres, and i can get a large tracor in and around the stumps - and i am sure it is ripe for the sheep to graze down and the grass to develop to its full potential.
Pigs are definitely for the banking - but maybe next year?


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