Wednesday, 18 February 2015

Improving your paddock - Soil Analysis

Sorry this blog is a day later than usual, I could not log on to blogger yesterday at all - I think there must have been problems with the site!

In preparation for my Paddock Improvement plan for the year I have been taking soil samples.  All the rain last spring (which caused flooding in many parts of the UK) really took its toll on the field.  The wet seems to have provided perfect conditions for buttercups and moss to go wild!  

Unfortunately this meant that the grass didn't grow so well as it became smothered and my spot weed killing didn't have enough effect.  This year I therefore need to take more drastic action to improve the soil, kill the weeds and give the grass a better chance.  There are likely to be some areas that will need reseeding too!


I sent off for a kit which included most of the things I needed and includes the analysis and the recommendations for treatment.  This cost £25.80 and includes a pre-paid envelope for sending the soil off so I thought it was a good deal!

So last Thursday, while I was supervising the horses' reaction to the hunt in the next field, I took the opportunity to take some samples.  The company where the kit came from recommended taking between 20 and 30 samples in the shape of a W across the field.  This would ensure that they had a sample which was representative of the whole and the recommendations would be appropriate for me to apply to the field as a whole too!

Initially I thought 20 - 30 sounded A LOT of holes to dig.  Luckily I had some help and an old spade which was designed for digging holes for fence posts - so not too wide.  We dug to about 20 cm although this varied depending on the spot and whether we could get the spade in any deeper.  Then I took a bit of soil from the bottom of the hole and we replaced the clog so that we did not leave a hole for a horse's leg to fit in!  It did not take nearly as long as I expected and I think we probably took about 25 samples.

Each bit of soil was put into a bucket. Then (as recommended by the company) I mixed it all up and put as much as I could fit in the little bag they sent.  It is now on its way for analysis. 

 I will let you know what the outcome is and my next steps in the Paddock Improvement plan.

Later today (Wednesday) I will be uploading a new vlog - on my channel.   Horse Life and Love
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Until next time!

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