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Before planting a grass seed crop, test soil for pH, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and lime requirement. Add and incorporate material before planting.
Nitrogen is needed by all grass seed crops. A small amount, of fall nitrogen is recommended for tall fescue. For perennial ryegrass, fall nitrogen is not required. A small mount of fall nitrogen, 30 to 40 lb/a, and can be applied and used to reduce spring nitrogen rate.
Most of the N is supplied in the spring from mid-February to mid-April in two to three applications or “splits”. Nitrogen application rate varies for grass species. Fine fescue requires the lowest rate, 30 to 70 lb/a and perennial ryegrass the highest, 120 to 160 lb/a. Refer to fertilizer and nutrient management guides for each grass species for specific nitrogen rate information.
Straw removal by baling removes a substantial amount of potassium. Monitor soil test potassium where straw is baled. More information on nutrient amounts and value in grass straw.