Paddock Topping Overview
Paddock topping removes tall, tough grass that is not palatable to livestock and particularly horses and ponies. The ideal length for grazing animals is around 100mm or 4 inches. Cutting weeds before they have time to go to seed prevents them from germinating and spreading. Other advantages that it is a particularly good way of keeping ragwort, docks, buttercups and thistles in check. Regular paddock topping in the growing season will stimulate new growth in the ley and create a much thicker sward helping to prevent weed growth.
Paddock Topping with Flail Mowers
Flail mowers are an excellent way for topping paddocks and pasture but are quite aggressive. Chopped cuttings, called mulch rots down quickly and helps revitalise the soil. Topping will increase grass density and reduce weeds. Paddocks that are out of control can be topped and brought back to a manageable condition in a quick time. Bracken, docks, thistles, nettles, buttercups and other broad, intrusive weeds can grow to a substantial height. Flail mowers will reduce the cuttings to a fine mulch which can be collected using a flail collector or left to rot down.
Rotary Topping Horse and Pony Paddocks
Rotary mowers are suitable for keeping a paddock, grass and pasture in good condition and leave an excellent finish. “Rotaries” are extremely useful for removing the tops off the grass where it has seeded when the bottom of the plant is still growing. This mower is ideal for equine paddocks, where a minimum of 100mm of forage is required. However, the grass does want to be too long when cut as is leave swathe, which is not suitable for horses and ponies.
Sidearm flail mowers are ideal for topping verges, ditches, watercourses and inaccessible areas that are very hard to reach by conventional machines. Powerful compact tractors can reach areas that are generally not accessible to more massive machinery.
Other Types of Paddock Topping
Finishing mowers leave an excellent finish. Commonly used in amenity areas they are ideal for cutting paddocks and grassland areas that are not used by livestock. Regular Mowing with this machine should be carried out on a fortnightly basis during the growing season to achieve an immaculate result.