Seed
Vegetative Growth
Flowering Plant

Timothy

Grass

(Phleum pratensis)

Possibly the most important and flexible grass species which is used both environmentally and agriculturally. It is a very common species found in pasture throughout the UK. It retains its verdure longer than most grasses and although similar to smaller cats tail, it is larger in size with wider leaves and a longer spike like panicle.

Uses

Hay and late season grazing.

Persistence

Timothy is very persistent, usually outlasting other less permanent species like ryegrass in mixtures. However be aware that it can be slow in the first year of production.

Strengths

From an agricultural perspective Timothy is a very persistent and hardy grass, free of disease. The forage it produces is acceptable to most classes of stock. It will grow abundantly on heavy ground and, although it only has a shallow root structure, it still persists well on lighter land in dry years.

Frost Tolerance

Very winter hardy, grown in particularly cold conditions around the world.

Yield

12t DM/ha

Sowing Rate Advice

8kg per acre / 20kg per ha.

Timothy seed is very small, so sowing rates for a pure stand is lower than most species.

Mixture Sowing Rate Advice

1 - 3kgs per acre / 2.5 - 7.5kgs per ha.

Ideal Sowing Time

It can be sown from spring until autumn, but a late autumn sowing will lead to a slow autumn establishment, be aware that this particularly small seed will not tolerate being sown to deeply.

Management

Cutting just as the seeds ripen provides nutritious forage as hay.

Distinguishing characteristics

Seed

Seed
This is a particularly small seed, with an oval to elliptical shape. It is a light brown to white colour and has a smooth texture. It is approximately 1mm in length.

Vegetative State

Flowering Plant

Flowering Plant
The plant is a light, faded green-grey colour. The leaves are long, hairless with rough edges and a characteristic twist or whorl to each leaf. They are rolled in the bud. The plant has blunt ligules, up to 6mm. The closely packed spike is cylindrical and green, turning grey / purple as it matures. Up to 15cm long. Mature plants have a bulbous, swollen base. It can reach 150cm in height.

Additional Info

Flowers June - August Average seeds per kg - 2, 400 000.

Works well with

Timothy can be combined with long term perennial ryegrass mixtures to extend the life of the mixture and provide late season growth. It can also be combined with meadow fescue in traditional long term hay mixtures.

You can find Timothy in the following mixtures

History

It was named after Timothy Hanson who introduced it into agriculture in the southern states of America (1720).