The stem of orchardgrass is nearly flat at the base. It has a tall ligule but no auricles.
Orchardgrass leaves are blue-green in color and emerge along the midrib of the leaf folded in half.
Perennial bunchgrass. Grows 2 to 5 feet in seed head stage. Has a swollen, bulblike structure at base of stem. Leaves have a bluish green color compared to tall fescue.
Primarily a hay plant, but may be used for pasture when a part of a mixture.
Large, first-cutting yields, high demand for hay either pure or in mixtures, grows well with alfalfa and/or red clover. Good nutritive quality when first cutting made in boot to early head.
Short stand life, low quality when cut late, little regrowth after first cutting. Clumpy growth habit and sensitivity to hot temperatures limit its use in pasture.
Rate: 3-6 lb/a
Depth: ¼-½ in
Primary Date: Aug 15-Oct 1
Secondary Date: Feb 1-Apr 15
First harvest: May 15-June 1
Annual yield: 2-4 tons dry matter/a