Sundown is a late maturing perennial orchardgrass. Orchardgrass is a cool-season bunchgrass best suited for fertile, light to medium soils with good drainage. It can persist on moderately poor drained soils. Sundown is excellent for grazing or hay. Orchardgrass has good winter hardiness, tolerance to shade and moderated tolerance to drought. Sundown is well adapted to grow with legumes such as clover and alfalfa. There is typically a 10-20 day spread in heading date between early-maturing and late-maturing varieties. Use a later-heading variety as a companion to alfalfa.
- Late Maturity
- Excellent for grazing or hay
- Easy to establish
- Aggressive tillering
- Fast re-growth
Orchardgrass is very responsive to fertilizer and aftermath production can be excellent with proper fertility and split N applications. For optimum first harvest yield and quality. Orchardgrass should be harvested in early-mid boot stage at a cutting height of 3-4 inches so it can recover quickly and persistence can be maintained.
For grazing, excellent grazing management is required to maintain persistence and productivity. Graze 3 to 4 inches and rest 28 days between rotations. Orchardgrass does not persist well under continuous grazing. It is not a good candidate to pair with perennial ryegrass since their management protocols are so different.
Orchardgrass can be planted either in early spring or late summer depending on the area of the country being grown. Seeding depth is generally 0.25 to 0.50 inch in a firm seedbed. Rolling or using a cultipacker after seeding ensures even germination and emergence. Use the equivalent of about 40 pounds of nitrogen to kick start the seedlings.
Tags: Sundown, Sundown Orchardgrass