DLF Sowing Guide

The value of reseeding cannot be overstated, and it is well documented that newly reseeded
swards will produce more forage of better quality than older swards and will have a much
greater response to N fertiliser application. There is no doubt reseeding will improve forage
production and efficiency on farm. Paddocks for reseeding should always be selected based
on performance with those producing the lowest tons of DM a priority.

There is a lot more to reseeding than sowing grass seed. Before carrying out the job soil
fertility must be good and after seeding new grass must be fed and managed correctly to get
the best from your investment. Here are DLF’s top tips for a successful reseed

Get Your Soil Tested

Nutrients are essential for optimal performance of the new
sward and a soil test is the only way to know the sward’s exact nutrient requirements.
Get soil samples analysed for pH, P and K and adjust your lime and fertiliser
application accordingly. Soil testing should be carried out in January or February
before reseeding for most accurate results.

Spraying Off

Spray off the old sward with glyphosate to reduce competition from
weeds. Allow 7 – 10 days for the old sward and weeds to absorb the spray before

Apply Seedbed Fertiliser

The amount of fertiliser required will be dictated by your
soil test results. Apply lime to achieve a pH of 6.5 and Index 3 for P and K. Too much
nitrogen at this stage will only encourage weed growth. Apply a small amount at
sowing and again 4 – 6 weeks after sowing.

Fine, Firm Seedbed

Regardless of cultivation method - plough, one-pass or disc – a
fine, firm seedbed is critical to successful establishment. Use a slow forward gear
when cultivating and roll the seedbed before sowing.

Soil To Seed Contact

Roll the seedbed again after sowing to ensure soil to seed
contact. Soil to seed contact is another critical aspect of reseeding.

Weed Control

The application of a post-emergence spray is usually required around
6 weeks after sowing to control weeds.


Reseeded ground should be grazed regularly and quickly to aid tillering and
the development of a dense sward. Sheep or young stock are ideal for this job as
they are less likely to damage the developing sward.


Avoid taking heavy cuts of silage during the first year of a new reseed to allow strong tillers to develop.

Did You Know?

  • 1 tonne of grass DM costs ~€70 to produce – relatively cheap compared to grass silage (€160/tonne DM) and concentrate (€250/tonne DM)
  • Increasing the proportion of grazed grass in the diet by 10% can lead to a 2.5 cent reduction in the cost of producing 1 litre of milk
  • Each additional tonne of DM utilised is worth approximately €181/ha
  • Could reduce GHG emissions intensity by 4%