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Late summer to mid-autumn is the best time for renovating and seeding your paddocks and fields. Make the most of the next few weeks when the soil is still warm and damp from rain spells, and there is less competition from weeds, creating the ideal environment for grass seeds to germinate.
Give your seeds the best chance to grow evenly by prepping the soil. Rejuvenate soil health by stripping back weeds, thatch, and old grass. A Drag Harrow or Framed Harrow does just that – with a row of evenly spaced tines that drag through the top surface of soil; ripping up moss and weeds and picking up old thatch, at the same time as loosening, aerating, and levelling the soil ready for reseeding. You can rake the soil with a Winton Landscape Rake designed to spread and level soil, wood chippings, shingle and gravel. The sprung tines will also collect cut grass, debris and stones from paddocks and fields. If your soil suffers with a lot of stones, clods and debris, then the nifty Winton Stone Burier is a great piece of equipment, performing multiple jobs simultaneously; tilling the soil, clearing debris and old vegetable stems, burying stones, breaking up clumps of soil and clay (like a cultivator), and levelling a field ready for reseeding and planting.
Now the soil is prepped, it needs to be enriched with nutrients. Spreading fertiliser or mulch will help to save water, lock in moisture, and suppress those niggling weeds. Adding a layer of green manure in the autumn is great food for the soil helping to protect against frost and heavy winter rains.
Before sowing the seeds, firstly divide the area to be seeded into small plots so you can easily keep track. Sow half the seeds over the soil surface in rows going lengthways, then spread the remaining seeds in between the rows going widthways. For larger plots, a Fleming PTO Spreader will accurately and efficiently spread seed plus fertiliser, and can also be used in cold weather to spread grit or salt. Once finished, a landscape rake can be used again to ensure the seed is evenly distributed. Water the soil after seeding and keep the ground moist (it’s best not to rely on rainfall alone) until the area is completely covered in grass. When the grass reaches a height of 7.5cm, aim to chop off a third with a Flail, Topper or Finishing Mower to encourage further shoots to grow and thicken the blanket of new grass.