Time is running out where farmers plan to reseed grassland this autumn. Ideally, grass seed should be in the ground by the end of second week of September.
With such a short window for reseeding, give careful thought to the method used to get new grass established.
If the old sward or stubble after a cereal crop has been burned off already, there is time to potentially plough and drill grass seed.
But if the existing sward has yet to be burned off, it will take seven to 10 days for the chemical to work. This leaves it very tight for ploughing.
Therefore, give some thought to a minimum cultivation method, such as discing the field and then drilling grass seed or simply direct drilling.
These methods will be low risk with regards to weather. Less ground disturbance has the advantage of fewer weeds, as well as the ground being able to carry livestock in early spring.
Apply lime before reseeding, ideally in granulated form to improve germination. This will give an immediate rise in soil pH after burning off old grass.
Farmyard manure applied before reseeding can benefit the new sward, especially if worked into the soil with discs or harrows.
A post-emergence spray is recommended, but clover-safe options are limited. Therefore, grazing with dry ewes or weanling cattle can help keep the weed burden under control.