Niva orchard grass was developed through a Central European breeding program in which the objective was to develop a late-heading orchard grass that would be resistant to disease and offer a high dry-matter yield. The grass is very hardy, and its late heading date is conducive to rainy areas where the fields are too wet to harvest in the early spring. For spring plantings, seed anytime after February 1; for fall plantings, seed during August or September.
Perform a soil test before you plant to determine the soil type. Ideally, you want to seed in soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. If you are outside that range, essential nutrients like phosphorus, calcium and magnesium can't be dissolved in water, which means your orchard grass won't be able to absorb them and grow to its full potential. If your soil has a pH of less than 6.0, it contains too much acid; if it's above 7.0, it has too much alkaline. To neutralize your soil, add compost, mulch or other organic matter. In addition, limestone can help neutralize acidic soil.
Seed the Niva orchard grass, at a rate of 15 to 20 lb. per acre. Seed Niva grass by using broadcast equipment such as fertilizer trucks, buggies or tractor-mounted seed distributor. As an alternative, you could use Brillion or grain drills, which often result in better stands, more controlled seeding depth and better seed distribution.
Cover the seeds with a thin, ¼- to ½-inch layer of soil. Good tools for covering seed that has been broadcast include spike-tooth harrows or brush-type drags. If you use a drill, use drag chains on the drill and you can seed and cover at the same time.
Use a cultipacker or lightweight roller to pack the seed down under the soil. This also prevents stray seeds from being blown away by the wind or eaten by birds.
Apply fertilizer with a high phosphorous content to the newly seeded Niva orchard grass. This can improve seedling vigor.