Paddock maintenance calendar

Time of year Action Required Reason
Late Winter Test soil for pH and nutrient levels Optimum pH for grass growth is 6.5. Early testing allows for forward planning.
Early Spring Harrow & Roll Pasture Rolling and Harrowing repairs damage created by winter poaching. Harrowing also aerates the soil and removes dead grass and shallow rooted weeds.
Late Spring/ Summer Be aware of too much grass High risk of laminitis as grass starts to grow to horses and ponies.
Apply Fertiliser where necessary Results of soil test will establish whether application of nitrogen, phosphate or potash is necessary to encourage grass growth.
Pasture topping
Keeping grass length to 5cm
Not only is grass more able to make its own nutrients if it is kept at this length, but it is also able to withstand the actions of hooves.
Weed control Controlling weeds such as thistles dockings and nettles by spraying during early growth. Pulling poisonous weeds such as Ragwort early in the season is easier than when they're fully established.
Late Summer early autumn Be aware of autumn flush of grass Vigorous autumn grass growth is potentially another risk for ponies who suffer from laminitis
Continue mowing This also stops weeds from flowering and / setting seed.
Consider Rolling and Chain harrowing again Repairing poaching tidying up paddocks before the winter period.
Winter Continue paddock rotation. Paddock rotation will avoid winter damage keeping grass at 2cm.
Fencing General maintenance of field boundaries, repairing wall gaps trimming laying overgrown hedges, repairing damaged wire or railings.
Pick up droppings as often as possible This reduces the number of parasites and encourages the horses and ponies to eat from the whole of the field, reducing selective grazing.