Summer–fall seeding dates for six cool-season grasses in the midwest united states

The effect of late summer (fall) planting date for cool-season grasses in the upper Midwest is not well understood. Objectives of this research were to determine optimum planting dates of late-summer/fall seedings in different environments for several cool-season grass species and to gain information on tiller density and tillers plant–1 relative to dry matter yield. Late-summer/fall seedings of six forage grasses were made approximately every 2 to 3 wk in 1995, 1996, and 1997 at three sites in Wisconsin. Species included orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), smooth bromegrass (Bromus inermis Leyss.), timothy (Phleum pretense L.), reed canary grass (Phalaris arundinacea L.), perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.), creeping foxtail (Alopecurus arundinaceus Poir.), and tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.). Yield was taken the next spring and plants destructively sampled for plant and tiller counts. Seedings made by mid- to late-September produced stands having visible plants by killing frost at all locations except for 1 yr at River Falls. Seedings after mid-September generally did not produce visible plants until spring, if at all. Many of these seedings failed to produce a stand the next year. Earlier seeding dates usually had more tillers m–2, more tillers plant–1, and higher dry matter yield the following season with first-cut maximums ranging from 3.6 to 6.7 Mg ha–1. Perennial ryegrass, smooth bromegrass, timothy, reed canarygrass and/or tall fescue, often were among the highest yielding species at the earlier seeding dates. At later late summer seeding dates, reed canarygrass, tall fescue, and creeping foxtail usually had low dry matter yield the next year.

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