I'm currently managing a perennial grassland that has been established for several years, serving as a habitat for various plants and potentially supporting biodiversity. I'm considering plowing a portion of this grassland during the winter for specific reasons, but I'm concerned about the potential consequences.

I'd like to understand the implications of plowing a perennial grassland, particularly in the winter season.

Following garden plan I implemented:

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • 1
    Is there a reason the norm of mowing once in Spring is too simple? Plowing is not the natural route and will actually unearth weeds. Commented Nov 25, 2023 at 23:30
  • 1
    So you would advice plowing once before implementing the garden, and afterwards only mowing once in Spring?!
    – János
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 1:31
  • No one plows perennials unless they want to kill them. Do you mean mowing instead? If so, then springtime is the time to do that.
    – Jurp
    Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 3:28
  • You can till lightly without plowing heavily, which breaks native water exchange. See Plowman's Folly. Commented Nov 26, 2023 at 14:02

1 Answer 1


If I understand you correctly, you are considering plowing under a portion of your perennial grassland in the winter to plant a planned garden in the spring.

My first advice to you is to contact agriculturists / farmers in your area and ask them for advice. They will give you far better information than I can. They know your local soil, water, and climate better than I do, and have actual experience with it. Plowing is a big subject!

What I would consider:

  • Fall / Autumn is a common time to plow. Plowing frozen ground in the winter is not always practicable, but is also done.
  • The vegetable matter and chaos you plow into the soil will need time to settle before it is suitable for planting.
  • Your soil may require additional tillage, probably in the spring time, to be suitable for planting.
  • If you intend to do any soil conditioning, when you plow may be a good time to incorporate the additions.
  • You may get new weeds growing that you haven't seen before when deep, dormant seeds are turned up to the surface.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.