Tips For Successful Grassland Reseeding this Spring

Tips For Successful Grassland Reseeding this Spring

Keeping your grassland vigorous and productive is a vital aspect of successful livestock farming. One of the most effective ways to achieve this is through regular reseeding of your pastures. By incorporating the right grass mixtures and adopting good management practices, you can ensure high-quality forage for your livestock throughout the grazing season, at the shoulders of the year and throughout the winter. Let's delve into the key considerations and benefits of spring reseeding for your farm.

Understanding the Importance of Reseeding

Reseeding is an essential component of grassland management, contributing to increased daily liveweight gain and milk production. In Ireland, where grass serves as the primary feed source for livestock, maintaining productive swards is crucial for farm profitability. Despite this, reseeding levels remain low, with less than 2% of the national grassland area reseeded annually. To address this gap and unlock the full potential of your pastures, prioritising reseeding is paramount.

The Benefits of Reseeding

Why should reseeding be a priority on your farm? Consider the following advantages:

Higher Productivity: Reseeding leads to the development of higher-producing swards with superior quality, resulting in increased daily liveweight gain and milk production for your livestock.

Improved Animal Performance: New swards offer better nutrition, contributing to enhanced animal performance and health.

Enhanced Nitrogen Efficiency: Freshly reseeded pastures can utilise nitrogen more efficiently, optimising nutrient utilisation and reducing input costs.

Economic Benefits: Grazed grass is one of the most cost-effective forms of feed on Irish farms. Reseeding ensures a continuous supply of high-quality forage, reducing the need for expensive supplemental feeds.

Grass Utilisation: Choosing grass mixtures that enhance grazing utilisation can significantly improve the efficiency of your entire farming operation.

Choosing the Right Grass Mixture

When reseeding, selecting the correct grass variety is crucial for achieving optimal results. The Pasture Profit Index (PPI) is an invaluable tool used to assess grass varieties' economic value and agronomic traits. By choosing varieties with high PPI scores, you can ensure superior performance and profitability in your pastures.

At Specialist Nutrition, we offer a range of grass mixtures designed to meet the diverse needs of farmers like you. Our mixtures guarantee:

  • Excellent Grazing Utilisation: Specialist Nutrition grass varieties are carefully selected to promote optimal grazing utilisation, ensuring that your livestock make the most of every mouthful.
  • High Yields: With Specialist Nutrition grass mixtures, you can expect consistently high yields of quality forage throughout the grazing season, maximising your farm's productivity.
  • Superior Quality and Palatability: Specialist Nutrition grass varieties are renowned for their excellent quality and palatability, supporting superior animal performance and health.
  • Long-Term Persistence: Specialist Nutrition mixtures are formulated for long-term persistence, providing reliable forage production year after year.

The Reseeding Process

When to reseed depends largely on weather conditions and grass availability. Spring and early summer are particularly favourable times for establishing white clover, benefitting from the stability of soil temperatures during this period.

Before initiating the reseeding process, it's crucial to conduct a comprehensive soil analysis, assessing levels of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), and pH. This step ensures optimal soil fertility, providing an ideal foundation for successful grass growth. Following soil analysis, the next step involves clearing the existing pasture by applying glyphosate. It's essential to allow a minimum of 7–10 days after spraying before proceeding with cultivation.

With the groundwork laid, the subsequent task is to prepare a fine, firm seedbed, providing the ideal conditions for sowing the chosen grass mixture at the recommended rate.

After reseeding, effective weed control is imperative to establish a healthy sward. Applying post-emergence herbicides when weeds are in the seedling stage ensures optimal control. Additionally, careful grazing management on newly reseeded areas promotes tillering and white clover establishment. This meticulous approach sets the stage for robust grass growth and long-term pasture health.

Key Considerations for Spring Reseeding

When embarking on a spring reseeding project, several factors should be taken into account:

Soil Health Assessment: Before embarking on reseeding, identify and address any drainage issues and assess soil fertility through soil testing. Correcting soil pH levels and applying necessary lime, phosphate, and potash during reseeding sets the stage for optimal grass growth.

Timing and Methods: Spring reseeding offers favourable weather conditions for successful establishment. Surface cultivation methods, such as disc harrowing and power harrowing, minimise soil disturbance and facilitate quick germination of grass seeds. Ensure proper seed-to-soil contact for optimal germination rates.

Grass Variety Selection: Choose grass varieties based on their production and persistence qualities, with consideration for soil type and land use (grazing, silage, or both). Optimal seeding rates, typically around 14 kgs per acre, and incorporating clover in most mixes contribute to a well-balanced sward.

Soil Amendments: Incorporating lime at 2-3 tonnes per acre during sowing helps maintain soil pH levels, while bag lime offers a convenient alternative. Standard fertiliser recommendations, adjusted based on soil tests and nitrates restrictions, support initial grass growth and establishment.

Pre and Post-seeding Practices: Ensure proper weed control by spraying with glyphosate a minimum of 6-7 days before cultivating. Post-emergent herbicide application 30-35 days after sowing helps manage broad-leaved weeds effectively. Grazing new reseeds 60-70 days after sowing, preferably with small cattle or sheep, encourages tillering and ensures a dense sward for the following year.


Spring reseeding is a critical practice for maintaining healthy, productive grassland on farms. By addressing sward quality issues and incorporating best practices outlined above, farmers can unlock the full potential of their grassland, leading to increased grass production and enhanced animal performance.

For expert guidance on spring reseeding and optimising farm productivity, contact Specialist Nutrition. Our team of experts is committed to supporting your farm's success through effective reseeding practices. Contact us today to learn more about how reseeding can transform your farm's performance.