A study of growth in swards of timothy and meadow fescue. 2. The effects of cutting treatments
J. agric. Sci 52(3): 273-81
Pure swards of S48 timothy and S215 meadow fescue 2 and 3 yr. old were cut: (a) after ear emergence, (b) before ear emergence and in the aftermath, so as to prevent flowering, and (c) every 4 weeks from the end of May, onwards. All swards were given a final cut in Oct. The number of tillers per unit area of sward declined considerably between early spring and mid-summer; this decline was least in a wet season under management (c), especially in timothy. Increases in tiller density occurred between the end of Sept. and the beginning of the following April in meadow fescue, but not in timothy. The weight per leaf increased in spring and was similar in both spp. During re-growth after cutting, meadow fescue produced larger and heavier leaves than timothy. Meadow fescue leaves failed to maintain weight in autumn. Leaf weight per unit area increased rapidly from early spring until the time of ear emergence; further increases until the hay cut were not significant, but further stem growth caused a greater proportion of the leaves to be removed in the hay cut. The rate of regrowth after cutting appeared to be related to the amount of leaf material remaining in the sward. The maximum rate of dry-matter accumulation coincided with stem elongation and flowering.