Simple Systems Natural Grazing Mix
Ryegrass free blend of many high fibre grass species. A balance of hardy, creeping & drought resistant grasses, utilising traditional species, which are safer for equines.
This keeps your sward intact & repairs it after heavy use. . We have also added a legume for its mineral rich content & soil improvement.
This grass mix includes a combination of hardy and creeping and drought resistant species best suited to keeping your sward intact and repairing the sward after heavy use. This is a mix also suitable for hay cropping. The more traditional species are a little more expensive but are more suitable for equines than the more highly “improved” species and varieties used in modern agriculture. In addition we have added a legume for its mineral rich content and its soils improvement characteristics but which is also known to be safe for horses.
Establishment and Management
Regarding establishment there are two timing options for sowing. The spring and autumn. Some growers, especially those on moisture retentive soils prefer to sow non ryegrass mixtures in the spring. This has the advantage of providing a long growing season after sowing to allow the slower growing species such as bentgrass to establish but has the disadvantage of increasing the risk of failure due to drought. In practice most spring sowing are usually successful even on dry soils. When sowing in the autumn it is essential to sow reasonably early and by early September at the latest. This suits leys following most arable crops but in wet years if combining is delayed or in very dry summers where it is not always possible to get a seedbed then it may be best to postpone the sowing till the spring.
Whenever a non ryegrass mix is sown the seed should be kept shallow, ideally sown no more than a few mm. A fine seedbed is required and this is best achieved by ploughing and further cultivation. Before sowing I would recommend rolling. The seed can then be broadcast or shallow drilled followed by further rolling. Both techniques work but the use of heavy, wide spaced drills are not suitable as the gaps between the rows, especially on light soil, can take too long to cover in. Regarding soil fertility it is important to check that the soil pH is above 6 and that P & K levels are corrected to ADAS index 2. Not everyone adheres to this but it is good practice.
If seeding into an existing sward to modify the sward or thicken worn patches the timing is less critical as the seed will be partially protected by the micro-climate at the base of the sward. It may be beneficial to harrow with a spring tine harrow before seeding and then rolling afterwards.
Contents in order of inclusion:
Creeping red fescue
Smooth stalked meadow grass
Sweet vernal grass