Establishing a Horse and Pony Pasture
- Soil testing — Soil testing before reseeding is important to ensure PH and soil fertility levels are optimum. Ideally this should be done 8 months before sowing. The average cost of a basic soil sample is £60.
- Seed bed — reseeding really is a start from scratch process. What is already in the area is ploughed (generally no deeper than 15cm) to completely start a fresh. The land can then be disced to break up larger pieces. Then it will be worked with finer machinery, normally a power harrow to break up the soil and then rolled so that a more even surface is obtained.The seed bed should be fine, firm and level. This is very important for the best seed coverage which will ensure the best possible establishment.
- Sowing — The seed can then be sown in a variety of ways depending on what machinery you have available. Seed can be broadcast and then harrowed and rolled or a direct drill can be used, this machinery breaks the surface on the seed bed and deposits the seed at the right depth and more evenly across the land. Once the seed has been sown the land should be rolled to recreate the firm seed bed that will give the grass seed the best chance of germinating.To avoid damage to seedlings horses should be kept off the area for at least 5-6 weeks, this will give the seed enough time to establish. The area can then be grazed lightly.