6 September 2002

Careful seed selection

SLOT seeding can halve sward repair costs, but selecting the correct seed mixture is essential to ensure successful establishment.

Pastures and silage leys damaged during wet weather will need repairing before winter, says Sinclair McGills Ian Misselbrook. "The best method is a full reseed, but some units cannot spare the lost grazing this autumn."

One solution is slot seeding where the drill creates an inverted T-slot in the existing sward to produce a mini seed-bed. "This costs about £55/acre which is half that of a conventional plough and full reseed."

But Mr Misselbrook warns that special seed mixtures are crucial, as new plants need to compete with existing plants. Mixtures with a large proportion of tetraploid ryegrasses, which are treated with biostimulants to enhance early vigour, are ideal. &#42