People often don”t think of late summer as a time for planting, but August is a very good time to seed grasses and legumes, according to Dan Undersander, University of Wisconsin-Extension/Madison forage and grazing specialist.
In fact, fall is the very best time to seed Reed Canarygrass, an excellent hay and grazing forage. The key is to seed early enough to give the seedlings a chance to get a good start before the first frost, he explains.
“That would be around the first of August in northern Wisconsin, the first two weeks of August in central Wisconsin, and the last two weeks of August in southern Wisconsin,” he said.
Undersander said there are two other considerations for fall planting:
If you seed in the late summer, don”t use a cover crop. Undersander said a cover crop, recommended in the spring, will compete with seedlings and keep them from getting a good enough start to survive the winter.
If you seed alfalfa in the fall, be conscientious about controlling competition – especially grassy weeds. Undersander said this is especially important for late summer seeding because failure to control competition will result in the loss of the stand.