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Equestrian Services | Fertiliser, Lime and Sand Spreading
Fertiliser, Lime and Sand Spreading
The conditions of the soil can be improved with the application of nutrients. There are specific conditions which grass prefers; the most important factor is the pH levels within the soil and these could be acidic to alkaline based. Generally, equestrian land becomes acidic and the application of calcium rich nutrients will gradually achieve a neutral pH level. The popular nutrients to achieve this are crushed limestone, granulated lime or sea sand.
Individual circumstances will determine the most suitable products to use; we would strongly advise that you have a soil analysis carried out. This will determine exactly what level of nutrients your land needs in order to produce optimum growing conditions. Furthermore, by conducting the soil analysis you will be making sure that you only add the nutrients that are required, therefore not wasting money on unnecessary products.
When applying fertiliser it is important that you use a product that has the correct proportions of phosphate and potash. Where possible nitrogen should be limited, or indeed avoided, as this can cause rapid growth of lush grass, which during spring time can be a cause of laminitis in horses and ponies. The right balance can help the plants to take up the nutrients from the soil and convert this into healthy grass for your horse. The correct proportions of nutrients can be diagnosed from the soil analysis results.
In our experience fertiliser applications tend be done on a yearly basis, if required, with the aim of replacing the nutrients that are naturally lost from the ground as a result of it being constantly grazed by horses. Alternatively, applications of lime or sand stay in the ground for much longer periods, and may only need adding once every 4 years, again helping to keep your costs down, whilst helping to improve the quality of your grass.
We can also help improve the nutrient content on organic pastures. This is achieved by spreading horse manure onto the land as this contains phosphate and potash; and if correctly composted, can be applied to increase the nutrient levels. Small holdings which aim to have an organic regime as specified by the Soil Association, or similar bodies, need to plan their fertiliser applications (excluding nitrogen) to use products approved by the relevant body.