Does anyone reseed parts of their field?

Ale

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Feb 8, 2012
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The front of Ale's field and the gateway into his other field don't seem to recover very well between spring and the next winter, thus when winter rolls around they get muddy alot quicker than the rest of the field because there is very little grass holding them together.

I thought that this spring I would have a go at reseeding them but I'm completely clueless! What seed do I use? When? How do I prepare the soil? It's only a small area so will be easy enough to do by hand and I can shut them off and rest them whenever needed and then he wouldn't be back on them until autumn.

Can anyone help?
 

Kite_Rider

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May 18, 2009
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Boston seeds online, they sell a horse paddock mix which has no Rye grass in, that's what I always used, all I've ever done is roll, rake, seed, roll and leave it be. Best time to do it is spring or autumn.
 
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Star the Fell

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Or try meadow mania. Again they sell seed suitable for horses and give free advice.
I reseeded an area a couple of years ago. Scattered seed by hand and then fenced the area off. It made a difference to the area I did, but I couldn’t do the gateways as they are in constant use.
 
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Jane&Ziggy

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It's tricky isn't it, the bits that need reseeding are the bits that you can't reseed because they're always being walked on.

I don't think it's hard to do, though, if you get the right mix.
 

Jessey

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I do mine if they are looking poor, I tend not to go to the big seed companies only because I don't need an acres worth of seed at a time but they are great for advise on what to use then I try to buy it locally in smaller quantities (a bit rude but if they offer a 'patch kit' I would use them.)
It's got to be done after the last frost and when temps are pretty consistently over 6c, normally April here, I just rake to rough up the top of the soil then hand cast and as I don't have a roller I tread the seed in as best I can. If possible it's best to rest the area all summer, to let the roots really get established, and to just mow once or twice to encourage it to grow thick rather than long and straggly.
 

Kite_Rider

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Many years ago when I was a tiny tot my grandad who was a gardener told me you shouldn't sow seed until the soil is warm enough to sit on with your bare bottom! I never actually tried, but it does make sense in so far as if it's too cold the seed won't germinate.
I can sow grass seed from the end of march as a rule, frost won't hurt it, it just needs the warmth to germinate.
As Jessey said, if you don't have a roller just tread it down, baby steps, close together to put the seed in close contact with the soil.
I just saved any I had left from a big sack, but to be honest unless you've got a good nursery nearby who will sell small bags, (we dont) most of the patch kits have Rye in them which I won't use.
Another great place to buy small quantities of grass seed is allotment associations, a dying breed though.
 
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Jessey

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I found a rye free seed in wilko last year, brought loose so I could just get what I needed. It wasn't horse grass specifically and more finer types meant for lawns but there weren't any varieties horses couldn't have in it and it did the job :)
 

Trewsers

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Oct 13, 2004
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We had a spare firld here re seeded and it's fab now as it's Storm's special field:)we had to have it completely over hauled, harrowed, plowed, dug out in places and then finally re seeded. We got a mix made up locally specially suitable for horses. I don't know how easy it would be to do a smaller patch by hand? Obviously you'd have to fence it off for a while. We didn't use this one for a year.
 

chunky monkey

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We reseeded some gateways and also parts of the field where we had to put hay feeders for the cattle last winter. Normally we loose feed the hay in the field for the cattle over winter but as the 2017 wet summer weather ment all our hay had to be made into silage we found we couldn't feed loose in the field so we had to sacrifice some parts of the field to put hay feeders. The areas were trashed. Tractor left deep wheel ruts it was dreadful.
I've seen cotswold seeds recommended on a few Facebook threads.
As others have said sow spring or autumn. If you do in autumn your supposed to keep off all winter and light graze/mow over the summer so that the roots can carry on establishing. But its impossible when your using the gateway. But if you can fence off even over the summer so that you are only leading through it will hold up better. When I was at the yard I had my gateways fenced off 365 days a year. That way I was not having to wade through mud all winter. Other people who didn't fence there gateways were always wading through mud from early winter. They always commented how good my fields and gateways were, but they never learned.
Ideally sow when warm but not when it's got too hot or the seed will just burn. Ideally sow just before a few days of light rain. Heavy rain is not ideal. If you can airreate the soil a little with pushing a fork into the ground all over the area, it will help for the seeds roots to grow down and establish. Just rake the surface over, cast the seed by hand then light rake in. Otherwise birds will eat it. Add some nice warm drizzle, and watch it grow.
My advice if you have a field to yourself. Fence it off perminately all year round so horses can not stand there.
Field mats can have there uses. I had one just inside the gateway, but every summer I did pull it up and reposition as it would sink. I've seen mud control mats being recommended. No experience of them myself, but theres lots of good reviews. Downside is that they are expensive, but people who eventually afford them say they wish they'd used sooner.
 
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Ale

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Could you try field mats at the gateway instead?
I'm going to get some of these for the gateway between fields for next winter but would really like to give the front of the field a chance to regrow, it obviously had years or being churned up by horses as there is minimal grass at all there despite having 6 months rest over spring and as soon as it rained it turned into a bog as its where Ale likes to stand and talk to friends next door. I thought if I reseed and fence off, then can get grass mats for there too if needed
 
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Jessey

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You'll ideally need to find a way to flattern that a bit before seeding @Ale, it might be leaving Ale on it longer so his feet do the work if you don't have a roller or something.
 
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Ale

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I was hoping I could just flatten it myself but squishing it down with my feet, if not Ale will have to stay on it but that doesn't give it as long to recover before next winter
 
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Jessey

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I was hoping I could just flatten it myself but squishing it down with my feet, if not Ale will have to stay on it but that doesn't give it as long to recover before next winter
It's worth a try :) or might be worth asking about if you have any gardener type contacts, they may have a small garden push roller you could borrow :)
 
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chunky monkey

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I would keep off whilst its wet then as the ground starts drying let ale go on it to squish it flat a bit but if you do it when its dried too much it won't work. It's a fine line. Then take off airreate with the fork and rake top.
 

Ale

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Right going to make a start on his field that is resting as the weather looks good for a couple of weeks and I have a little more spare time next week as its half term. Still trying to find a smaller quantity of rye free mix and not having too much luck.

However I am going to borrow a rake, fork and watering can from my parents and I've been flattening the areas most days by walking over them, already looking much better.
 
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