Paddock Restoration

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MickNShaz's picture
Last seen: 1 month 6 hours ago
Joined: 19/09/2018 - 2:16pm
Paddock Restoration

Hi, we recently bought 24 acres in QLD (intro in New Members section), and have a fairly good history on the property. Unfortunately, the owners prior to us did not do any paddock maintenance as the owners previous to them had done. We now have four years worth of overgrown Rhodes grass and weeds to deal with. We have slashed the horse paddocks down but this has left a large amount of dead, dry and clumpy grass all over the place. I have also had to remove my horses from the paddock as the Rhodes grass has clumped and the stubble is like needles. It's cutting up the muzzles of the horses as they are grazing on the new fresh stuff. We are hoping for some advice on what we should do to re-start the paddock and to get rid of these big clumpy and sharp stubbles. Our currently train of thought is to flail or fine mulch the lot down to pretty much nothing and then see what grows back when / if we get rain. Is there anything else we should be doing such as plowing / re-seeding, etc? I believe there used to be a lot of horse friendly grasses in there but i'm just not sure what is stuck under all that stubble. Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheers, Mick N Shaz

rolly @ fi's picture
Last seen: 3 weeks 4 days ago
Joined: 09/09/2011 - 11:03am

Hi Mick and Shaz
Rhodes grass usually grows quite prostrate (flat) along the ground like kikuyu as well as erect. If you have sharp stubble I suspect it must be very old growth. Make sure it is Rhodes grass though .
Flail mowing works really well, and reduces that build up or windrow of older biomass. Be careful with the windrows if it does rain with the horses as they can be magnets for colic.
Whatever the species of grass it will need nutrition. The quickest and most responsive way to inhance the nutrition would be to top dress the paddock. If you don't have any soil test info I would apply at least 100 to 150 kg per ha of a starter 15 type blend of fertiliser per ha. This will provide (@100 kg) 15 kg of nitrogen, 13 kg of phosphorus and 12 kg of sulphur per ha.
This will boost growth and pasture quality a huge amount and will help the grass choke out the weeds. You wont need to remove horses for application.
I hope this helps
Regards rolly

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