The period from late summer into early fall in Kentucky is the best time to establish the major cool season grasses such as orchardgrass, tall fescue, timothy, and bluegrass for pasture or hay. These four grasses are our pasture mainstays, making up 95 percent of the acreage.
Many years of research results show this late summer through early fall time frame is the best opportunity for successful establishment. Mother Nature had a hand in this time frame because seed produced in late spring remains dormant until late-summer and early-fall rainfall provides the moisture necessary for the seed to germinate.
To increase your success rate, remember these points:
n First, address soil fertility needs. Take soil samples now to determine fertility needs and to give you enough time to supply the needed nutrients. Inadequate levels of phosphorous, potassium, or limestone can limit the success of late summer seedings. For pure grass stands, apply nitrogen at the rate of 40 to 60 pounds per acre.