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Sowing & Growing: Cocksfoot

Cocksfoot (Dactylis glomerata) is a very persistent perennial species. It grows early in the spring and has a comprehensive root structure travelling to depth and therefore thrives on light, free-draining soil. 

Cocksfoot is often included in agricultural seed mixes to boost the drought tolerance of grass leys, especially on light land. It is also used in environmental mixtures to create an upright, tussocky plant structure which can be used by wildlife as an overwintering and nesting habitat.

When to Sow: In common with other grasses, cocksfoot should be sown between March - early May or in the autumn between August and September. 

Sowing Rate: 2 g/m2 - 8kg per acre - 20kg per ha

Preparation: The most successful results come from sowing into a newly prepared seedbed. Aim to cultivate the top soil to about 5cm, with a light cultivator or discs. The finished seedbed should be fine but firm with no clods. Several passes with a cultivator may be needed to achieve this. 

Sowing: Cocksfoot seed is small and should be sown to a depth of 1cm. The soil should be rolled after sowing to increase soil contact with the seed.

Management: Cocksfoot will need topping or frequent grazing to keep it vegetative and leafy, if left it can become coarse and develop into tussocks. There are generally few pest and disease problems with cocksfoot, although rust can creep in towards the end of the autumn.

Date Posted: 10th February 2023


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