Tekapo Premium Orchardgrass is very unique among orchard grasses in that it has a very low crown and a dense, prostrate growth habit. This allows Tekapo to be grazed to near ground level, making it ideal for sheep and horse grazing. Its long, soft leaves also make it highly palatable.
Tekapo will produce a very thick and dense stand that is able to persist even under hard, continuous grazing. The dense, prostrate growth of Tekapo also helps it to out-compete many invasive weeds. Tekapo is tolerant of heat, moderate drought, low fertility, and most foliar diseases, including rust. Its aggressive tillers also help utilize soil nutrients.
Tekapo is an abundant producer under irrigation and high fertility. With excellent digestibility and good feed value, Tekapo can be combined with high yielding grasses to make an excellent hay/grazing pasture. Tekapo has outperformed many other orchard grasses in feed value, palatability and digestibility.
Establishment & Management:
Plant in early Autumn or in the Spring in a prepared, firm seedbed, seeding with a Brillion-type seeder, or by broadcast and cultipack. A planting depth of 1/8-1/4 inch is best. No-till is only recommended when an herbicide is used to sufficiently kill or retard the existing stand. A minimum pH of 6.0 is best.
A seeding rate of 12 lbs per acre for 100% Tekapo pasture is recommended. Seed with other grasses at the rate of 5-6 lbs per acre. Plant with white clover, alfalfa, tetraploid perennial, and other appropriate grazing grasses. An application of Nitrogen, 25-30 units/acre 4-6 weeks after sowing promotes tillering without damage to the young stand. Once established, Tekapo should be grazed or cut leaving a 3-4" residual.