Korean Lespedeza is a warm season legume. It is a fine stemmed,
leafy, herbaceous legume with a shallow taproot system. It was
introduced to the United States in 1919 from Korea.
AREAS OF ADAPTATION: Korean lespedeza is distrubuted throughout the
midwest and eastern United States. Korean is better adapted than common
lespedeza in the North because of its shorter life cycle. It can be
grown in sandy or clay soils and at fertility levels from low to high.
USES: Primary uses are for pasture, hay, wildlife and erosion
control. Live stock and deer will graze in the summer. Korean
lespedeza is an excellent source of seed for quail and upland birds. If
left un-cut or grazed can reach 2 feet in height which is perfect cover
for upland birds.
ESTABLISHMENT: Lespedezas are good companions with bunch-type
grasses such as tall fescue, timothy and orchardgrass. The advantage of
using lespedeza with grasses is that the legume can provide much needed
summer grazing when cool-season grasses are dramatically slower in
production. Seeds should be planted (by drilling or broadcasting)
between March and April at the rate of 25 to 40 lbs. per acre broadcast
or 15 to 20 lbs. per acre drilled in a well prepared bed. If drilling,
the seed should be placed at a depth of 1/2 inch. When broadcasting the
seed, incorporate lightly by raking and then pack the soil surface. You
should inoculate seed for best results.
MANAGEMENT: If pastures are managed properly, annual lespedeza should
reseed itself. Light grazing will allow natural reseeding. Hay should
be cut at early bloom state. All harvesting methods should leave a
3-inch stubble. Lespedezas will reseed themselves but must be manually
reseeded at some point to maintain adequate stands. Do not over
fertilize if planted in mixture with grasses.