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Topics : Species and Forage Variety Trials : Species Fact Sheets : Orchardgrass

Species: Orchardgrass

Additional orchardgrass information via the Forage Information System (FIS)

Orchardgrass Establishment

Orchardgrass is usually easy to establish in either early spring or late summer. Late summer seedings, however, have been most successful in Pennsylvania. There is increased risk of winter injury with summer seedings made after mid- August.

Seed at the rate of 8-12 lbs. per acre. When seeding in combination with legumes, orchardgrass seeding rate should be reduced. Orchardgrass should not be seeded with other grasses because of differences in maturity and palatability.

Seed 1/4-1/2 inch deep into a well- prepared seedbed that has been limed and fertilized according to a soil test. Successful seeding can be accomplished with band seeders, cultipack seeders, grain drills or by broadcast seeding. Cultipack after seeding with grain drills not equiped with press wheels or broadcast seeding to insure good seed-soil contact and hasten germination and emergence.

If orchardgrass or orchardgrass-legume mixtures are seeded with a small grain companion crop, remove the small grain at the boot stage to minimize competition with the forage seedlings. This will increase the chances of obtaining a good orchardgrass stand.