There are two main opportunities for sowing autumn grass seed and although traditionally leys were commonly established in the spring under a cover crop such as barley. Many UK farmers now prefer to sow in the autumn following a cereal crop. Of course, the choice of sowing time is often dictated by 1st cut silage or livestock requirements. Some say July is to dry, fact is, you must utilise your window of opportunity from July – end September, recommendation for Long-term ley “Ideal Cut & Graze” 100% NIAB & SRUC independently recommended varieties for 2019.
Moisture availability is an important consideration when establishing seed and spring sowing can run into drought issues, whereas rainfall is usually more reliable in the autumn. However, if sowing legumes, such as clover, it may be best sowing out July-End August “latest” as these plants grow better in warmer temperatures, recommendation for Long-term ley “Ideal Foundation” 100% Late pasture perennial Ryegrass-Timothy & Best UK White Clover available.
If sowing in the autumn, some people sow grass only grass mixtures and introduce clovers the following spring after grazing or cutting the grass. Ideal Grassland Renovator for rapid establishment.
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