Countryside Seeds Ltd

Great In Grass

Wet lawn in winter - sounds familiar?

How short days and cool, wet conditions affect the lawn.


Mild winter so far in temperate northern Europe. The hours of sunlight are few and lawns are not growing even if temperatures are mild. What can we do to give the lawn the best conditions? Follow some simple guidelines to get your lawn in shape for the coming season.
Do not cut the lawn out of growth season

Let the last cut in the fall be somewhat higher than during growth season. This leaves leaf material to initiate photosynthesis and green up as soon as the sun returns in spring.

Have you removed fall leaves from the lawn?

Allowing any light to reach the lawn and ensuring that moisture can evaporate from the lawn canopy is a good start. We know that fungi prefer moist environments. Let debris mulch another place in the garden than on the lawn.
Do you have pools of water forming on the lawn?

It is not necessarily a problem that the soil is filled to full water capacity. A good drain in the soil profile is preferable, but some days of pools are acceptable. Do avoid traffic on the lawn while the water is there, the crowns, the growth points of the grass plant, may be more vulnerable than usual in these conditions.
Learning and thinking ahead

A good lawn mixture adapted to your region will be able to buffer the wet conditions. In extended periods of water logged conditions smooth stalked meadow grass will be standing strong after the pools have drained. Over time, I'm talking years, a trained eye will notice the lawn segregating into local conditions in the lawn: Shadow areas will increase in fescues, traffic areas will leave smooth stalked and ryegrass, water logged patches are most tolerable to smooth stalked. Over the years the mature lawn will appear naturally patchy as it adapts to the local conditions.

To rejuvenate and homogenized the lawn consider having a spring over seeding plan ready every few years.

Speaking of winter activities for the garden owner, consider sharpening the blade of the mower. This makes for a much more clean cut and it does make a visible difference!


Great In Grass

New for 2020 "Ability" maize. A candidate for 2021 - Limited Seed Available. ABILITY combines an early maturity with outstanding yields of dry matter, energy, and starch.


Great In Grass

Improving grass performance

Since 2015 we have been able to predict trait performance in perennial ryegrass based on a simple DNA profile and every day, we become increasingly better at doing it.

It all started 10 years ago when researchers and breeders at Aarhus University and DLF decided to attempt something no one had tried before: Develop and implement genomic selection in an open-pollinating, population-bred crop. At the time, the only tools available were developed for animal breeding, which is based on single individuals.
Like all other open-pollinated species, ryegrass breeding lines consist of several similar (but not identical) siblings and sometimes even more distantly related individuals. This feature ruled out the use of chip-genotyping, which was state-of-the-art for determining the DNA profile of a single individual. Instead, a sequence-based approach was deployed that more efficiently could describe the DNA profile of a mixed population in a quantitative manner. The use of this new technology, however, meant that all statistical models behind Genomic Selection had to be revised and redesigned to deal with such quantitative DNA profiles.

Fortunately, the research was spiked by extra funding from an innovative executive management and two Danish National Research Foundations, who saw the potential of moving breeding faster and with a higher success rate. More than 1000 breeding lines tracking ten years back was pulled out from the seed storages and subject to sequencing and re-testing in the field. The output from this training set was used to develop the first genomic prediction models, which showed to be surprisingly good. Following additional years of model improvement, the first GS-based synthetic variety crosses were made in 2015 and today Genomic Selection is an integrated part of forage perennial ryegrass breeding at DLF’s breeding stations in Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France, and New Zealand.
Genomic Selection enables breeders to pre-select lines with sufficient potential to be tested in the field, it allows them to cut down development time, and it increases the annual breeding gain substantially. The inclusion of material from several breeding locations has since advanced Genomic Selection models so that the performance of a certain line can be predicted for different environments. That option holds great prospects for breeding in a future with an ever-changing climate. We will not be able to predict that future, but we will be able to predict how our forage grasses will perform. The future is green.

Over 320 acres of a Herbal Ley mixture treated with Mycorrhizal Fungi ready for the onward journey to the farm.

Please contact your 2020 Herbal Ley requirements.

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tell us more please, the only drawback, that I can see, is the 'gm' bit, not from us, but gen public. For us, the 'holy grail' is a really decent spray, to remove docks etc, from clover. But anything that increases grass productivity, is welcome, it adds to the bottom line. Have some reseeding to do this spring, message me for a chat.

Great In Grass

tell us more please, the only drawback, that I can see, is the 'gm' bit, not from us, but gen public. For us, the 'holy grail' is a really decent spray, to remove docks etc, from clover. But anything that increases grass productivity, is welcome, it adds to the bottom line. Have some reseeding to do this spring, message me for a chat.
This particular farm has (apart from one year, we couldn't treat) treated their new grass mixtures for the past 7 years (at least) around the 1000 acre mark in total.

There's nothing sinister in the product you are simply adding to the mycorrhizal fungi already present within the structure of the soil.

From the website: "Arguably the most important of all soil microbes for the support of commercial farming are mycorrhizal fungi. These fungi act as a vast secondary root system extending a crop's access to water and nutrients by over 700 times.

The ideal time to build up mycorrhizal communities is during the planting of leys, cover, catch and forage crops. Particularly grasses and legumes are excellent hosts for mycorrhizal fungi and support the establishment of a robust fungal network. This benefits cover- as well as follow-on cash crops. Trials showed improved nitrogen uptake by catch crops in association with AMF.

Research has shown increased crop performance when other biologicals such as plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) are combined with a thriving mycorrhizal community.
SR2 is a dry granule and can be mixed with seeds during sowing, applied by broadcasting or via a suitable granular applicator. PlantWorks can offer advice on suitable systems. A range of seed sellers can also supply seed mixes pre-blended with SR2.
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associate with 90% of all crop plants. By growing into the root, as well as accessing large areas of soil around the plant, these remarkable fungi effectively increase the uptake surface area of plant roots up to 700 times. Additionally plant defense mechanisms are improved by the partnership. Put simply, plants colonised by AMF are healthier and significantly more efficient at collecting water and nutrients from the soil.
Plant growth-promoting rhizobacteria (PGPR) have the ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen and unlock soil-bound phosphorus. They work in synergy with AMF, which transport nutrients to host plants. PGPR support a robust plant immune system for healthier crops and produce phytohormones, such as auxins and cytocinins, aiding growth and development of plants".

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