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Sowing & Growing Meadow Fescue

Meadow fescue (Schedonorus pratensis / Festuca pratensis) is a winter hardy perennial species and is one of the larger fescues. Some evidence suggests that in low fertility areas without nitrogen fertiliser, it has a comparable yield to perennial ryegrass especially in upland areas. 

Suitable Soils: It will grow on most soil types ranging from light, brashy to clay although it favours heavier clay soils. It can be slower to establish than more aggressive species like perennial ryegrass and cocksfoot.

When to sow: Sowing in warm, moist soils will help a quick and successful germination.

Sowing Rates: 3-3.5 g/m2 - 12 - 14kg per acre - 30 - 35kg/ha

Preparation: A fine but firm seedbed should be created and care should be taken to remove any weeds from the area. Once sown the area should be lightly raked over to cover the seed and well consolidated with a roller to encourage maximum seed to soil contact and conserve moisture. 

Seedbeds should not be left unconsolidated and if you leave a footprint on a newly sown area it should be rolled again.

Sowing: Broadcast the seed then roll or consolidate the ground afterwards.

Management: This species should not be over grazed, allow an interval for recovery between grazing. The grass it produces is highly acceptable to grazing stock providing it is kept leafy. It can also be cut especially for hay and the best quality hay or silage will come from swards which are cut before heading.

Date Posted: 20th January 2023


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