10 Step Guide to a successful reseed

Step 1
Identify the field that has poor production and a high proportion of weed grasses.

Step 2
Soil sample – Test for P+K and PH levels (a PH of 6-6.5 is ideal).

Step 3
Spray off field with glyphosphate, have a reasonable cover of grass so that spray is taken in by the leaves and transferred to the roots.

Step 4
Allow 7-14 days for the spray to work.

Step 5
For even better weed control try double spraying the field, after the first spray and cultivation allow another 2-3 weeks and spray again with quarter rate glyphosphate which will kill all the new emerging weeds.

Step 6
Choose the most suitable seed mixture that is compatible to your needs.

Step 7
Choose your cultivation method – Conventional ploughing or minimum cultivation. Aim to have a firm seed bed. Do not bury the seed and also roll after sowing. Fertilizer and lime should be applied as per your soil test results.

Step 8
Pest control – After the seed emerges keep a close eye for pest damage i.e. fruit fly, slugs etc.. Keep up regular observations on your new reseed at this vulnerable time.

Step 9
Management of new sward – First graze of the new reseed is very important. Graze the sward lightly to encourage tillering and increased vigour in the grass, avoid heavy covers of grass building up and graze regularly. Poaching damage of new reseed should be avoided.

Step 10
Weed control – After establishment spray to eliminate weeds that have germinated within the sward. Choice of spray is important if clover is a component of the seed mixture.

Stitching & Overseeding

  • Doing a detailed soil analysis is highly recommended
  •  Make sure seed is in CONTACT with soil
  • ROLL to ensure seed is in contact with soil (overseeding)
  • IMPORTANT to stitch/overseed when existing field has just been cut or grazed
  • Keep NITROGEN fertilizer away from newly stitched or overseeded fields for a few weeks. P + Ks are recommended
  • BEST results are when soil moisture is good, enabling new seed to germinate quickly
  • Depending on EXISTING quality of field to be stitched/overseeded, suggested sowing rate of ½ to 1 bag of seed per acre

Keep in mind about perennial ryegrass

Tetraploid varieties

  • Higher palatability than diploids
  • Higher dry matter intake than diploids
  • Fastest establishment
  • Ideal for quality silage
  • Excellent clover partner
  • Outstanding pasture utilization

Diploid varieties

  • Excellent ground cover
  • Ideal for intensive grazing
  • Very reliable growth and establishment
  • Competitive against weeds
  • Copes better with wet conditions than tetraploids

Heading dates of perennial ryegrass:

  • Early varieties:
    - Heading in first half of May
  • Intermediate varieties:
    - Heading during the second half of May
  • Late varieties:
    - Heading in the first half of June
  • Early varieties:
    - Provide very good yields of early spring grazing and first cut silage
  • Intermediate varieties:
    - Ideal for production of high quality silage
    - Suitable for cut & graze
    - Better ground cover than early varieties
  • Late varieties
    -High tiller density, excellent ground cover
    - Very suited to long term grazing
    - Produce good quality yields

Keep in mind about clover

White clover

  • The most persistent legume species used in Ireland
  • Ideal companion for perennial ryegrass and suitable for cut & graze
  • Provides high levels of nitrogen to the sward
  • Ensures its presence in long term leys, increasing the pa-latability, minerals and protein contents of your pasture

Red clover

  • One of the best producers of protein in Ireland
  • Usually persists for 3 years and is suitable for cut & graze
  • Great companion for perennial ryegrass