12 quick tips for sowing and managing tall fescue

Tall fescues are making a resurgence in popularity, as newly released cultivars make their way into the market. These new varieties now offer, softer more palatable leaves and higher winter activity or summer dormancy than traditional varieties.

Tall fescue can be slower than ryegrass to establish and seedlings can be pulled out if grazed too early. Before sowing it is important to check that you have got everything right to ensure a successful result. This will ensure you get the best return on the money invested in seed, fertiliser and drilling costs.

Flecha tall fescue | AusWest & Stephen Pasture Seeds
Flecha tall fescue, Ballengich VIC

Check off our list for getting the most out of your tall fescue pasture

  1. Ensure existing pasture has been sprayed out, killing all the existing plants and weeds prior to sowing to decrease competition
  2. Reduce weed seed in the soil by cropping or multiple spraying
  3. Test soil and correct deficiencies with lime or fertiliser
  4. If cultivating, ensure soil has been worked and rolled to provide a fine and firm seedbed
  5. Make sure the seed is sown into warm soil, 12 degrees + by the end of March
  6. Ensure adequate seed is sown – minimum sowing rate of 25kg/ha
  7. Sow seed into firm soil and cover with no more than 15 mm of soil
  8. Monitor and control insects such as earth mites
  9. Include nitrogen fertiliser at sowing and apply 2-3 times in the first six months
  10. Monitor weeds and spray early, within the first 2 months
  11. Don’t graze plants until they are firmly rooted and at least 15 cm high
  12. The first grazing is not when the pasture is wet

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