-- Posted by Carole Smith on Oct. 19, 2001
I have about 8 acres and would like to know if the BHS or
NFU produce a booklet on horse field maintenance?
My BIG bugbear is trying to keep on top of it all. I spray in
May in dry weather but if I do my bigger field also I have
nowhere to put my lot. However I must get it done next year as
the ragwort is getting bad .... but after spraying ragwort
takes about 5 weeks to finally rot away!! Also how often do
people harrow and roll? Also if I get a topper to put behind
the quad when should this be done? Also does anyone do a
backend of the season spray and what if like now the fields
are a bit wet? Help.
-- Posted by horsetalkuk on Oct. 19, 2001
I have a couple of articles up on my site if that is of any
It's under the the following:-
There are also some website links in the weblinks
to several grass management articles.
-- Posted by JanetGeorge on 11:57 pm on Oct. 21, 2001
The BHS Grassland Management is very good value - lots of
useful info and some good illustrations, particularly
poisonous plants. It's under a fiver and available at http://www.britishhorse.com
(I'm quite pleased with it but then I did I edit and
update it so I may not be totally unbiased!)
It's a bit late for a back-end spray because to work properly
the plants need to be growing actively whereas most growth has
slowed right down. Can you electric fence a smallish
area 1-2 acres for your neds in the spring (say early May and
spray the balance then). The ragwort will still be quite
small and should rot away far more quickly and with a rest,
the grass should shoot up at that time. Unless there is
a HUGE amount of ragwort, there is little or no chance that
with grass growing well they will be interested in tiny dead
remnants so 3 weeks should be safe. You could then move
them into the larger section and spray the small one - or top
it and leave for at least six weeks (as ragwort will be bigger
then and take longer to rot down.) Then the following
year, spray the small area first. The large area should
have little or no ragwort so pulling it wouldn't be such a
I only harrow twice a year but then I have a high ratio of
land to horses and have some cattle available to cross graze.
But don't rely on harrowing for worm control unless you
can give fields a good long rest or graze them with
Topping can be done almost anytime it's needed. For week
control, the weeds should be growing strongly and quite mature
(but not yet seeding.) Top them, and top any regrowth six
weeks later. For clearing up rough patches, it can be
done almost any convenient, reasonably dry time and certainly
before resting the field.
If you want to encourage rye based pastures to tiller out then
topping every four to six weeks will really encourage dense
growth. Be aware though that it might also encourage
more clover which is to be avoided for natives and ponies
prone to laminitis.
Best time for rolling is spring and autumn, when the soil is
moist but not wet - although if you have flotation tyres on a
quad you can roll when it's quite wet if you're desperate to
get rid of hoof prints. But even a quad will cause soil
compaction if it's too wet. No point doing it at all
when the ground is very dry.
-- Posted by Carole Smith on Oct. 22, 2001
Thank you all .I will study those articles but I have
rather lost heart as my boy died on friday afternoon. However
life goes on and am sure after a few days I will feel I owe it
to him and the next one -hopefully - to get rid of the ragwort
, even though that`s not what killed him.