Harrowing is best carried out in the Spring, or otherwise early Autumn after aeration as this will be beneficial for the following season.
Why regular harrowing is such an essential part of grassland management.
The purpose of harrowing is to rip out dead grass making way for new growth. It will remove moss and weeds, levelling the ground and mole hills and as the thatch is removed it allows air and sunlight in. This will encourage new grass to shoot and grow leading to increased sward density and preventing weeds from taking hold and smothering the grass.
Harrowing will also help to distribute any manure, promoting the rotting process and releasing of nutrients, allowing sunlight and air to kill dormant parasite eggs.
We use spring tine grass harrows which is an extremely efficient method of grass harrowing. Spring tine grass harrows fold down to allow access through small gates into otherwise inaccessible fields and paddocks.
It is important that ground conditions are right, and not too wet to avoid damage to the ground caused by the tractor, and not too dry to ensure getting the full benefits of the harrow.
Rolling is normally carried out in the spring once the land has started to dry out.
The benefits of pasture rolling include helping to level uneven ground that has been disturbed in the winter by grazing livestock and tracks created by tractors and vehicles. Grass is compressed during paddock rolling which makes it spread out (tillering), stimulating regrowth as the shoots are gently pushed into the soil by the roller. This action along with the raise in soil temperature will aid growth creating a thicker sward and preventing weed emergence.
Rolling should ideally follow on after harrowing, as this helps push any stones back into the ground which have been pulled up by the harrows.
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