By Andrew Best,

Watson Seeds

The commitment to reseed can be a very large investment – figures vary, but you are committing your business to a spend of £250 -£300 per acre.

Maybe, to dull the pain, consider how much you would spend on a tonne of cake. I don’t think it differs much from the costs of a grass reseed per acre.

If the decision is made to do an autumn re-seed, then get it right, with no sailing close to the wind. We have heard it all before: “I sowed out a field in September and it never looked back. It did really well."

However, there are very likely more disasters which are never mentioned. I don’t like trying to sort out a poor grass reseed in October.

It is not pleasant trudging across a sparse field of grass with no hope of improving the grass sward. Plus, my walking stick gets clogged with mud.

The wiggle room for nurturing a poor establishment of grass is highly limited. The soil is starting to cool and daylight hours are also reduced – both negative factors for grass growth.

Unfortunately, weeds can thrive better than the grass in these conditions.

Think about how I am going to manage the new reseed when the weather turns. Ideally, we need the opportunity to manage the new re-seed, good growthy grass able to withstand light grazing, without poaching, so we can encourage tillering and a density to the sward.

Therefore, heavy, less well drained soils should not be considered candidates for a late autumn re-seed. The only winners here are Mr Chickweed and puddles.

A backend re-seed, managed with care, is a wonderful sight in the spring, full of energy to feed any amount of stock and leaves the old sward it replaced in the starting block with improved production in the spring and autumn. Another plus is that you have this advantage for the next 7-10 years.

Andrew Best Watson Seeds

Attached photos of Hartbush Farm,


Get the detail right, and here you have a field of Duart, sown August 2018 and providing quality grazing in early April. 2019. By permission of John Paterson & family, Hartbush Farm, Amisfield, Dumfries