I decided to top it rather than take hay off it in order to keep the fertility on site.
Today I ran a mole plough through the site. This was a very impressive sight. Three tines are dragged through the soil at a depth of up to 18 inches.
The reason for this was to break up the heavy compaction that has been caused by years of heavy cattle being run on it. The soil will now have improved drainage, better airation, which will encourage increased microbial activity, which will in turn encourage a greater build up of humus, and therefore healthier trees.
The next steps are to rotovate to break up the thick clods of grass, plough, lime and sew the new sward mix.
I will be using prilled lime initially. It was my intention to use a slower releasing lime but I am struggling to find anyone to spread it for me in the next week. (I am told normal fertiliser spreaders won’t spread the larger lime granules)
The prilled lime is fast acting so it will benefit the new sewing immediately. I will then apply a slower releasing lime once the local (and olny, it seems) contractor is in my area.
Posted by Tom Adams on 26th August 2010, under Orchards