For farmers who aren't able to ensure a spring reseeding, the best approach for a late seeding involves performing all the preparatory agronomic practices during the summer and then planting the cool season-forages with annual forage at the proper time in August, Little said.
That includes preparing the soil for a proper seed bed; soil testing, applying and mixing in lime, starter nitrogen, phosphate and potassium; followed by seeding and mulching between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1.
The other problematic time to attempt to seed cool-season perennial forages is Sept. 15 thru Oct. 15, as cool-season perennial forages will probably germinate but will not likely establish a root system that is developed enough to carry them through the winter - at least not before a killing freeze occurs, Little said.
"To avoid this, farmers should plant by mid-August in northern Ohio and by Sept. 1 in southern Ohio," he said. "If not, one alternative is to wait and plant the last week of October or anytime in November through early December and include a cool-season annual forage along with the perennial cool-season forages."
Little said that with the late planting, the intended goal is that cool-season perennial grasses not germinate until spring.
"But it probably would be better to hold off seeding until early spring to avoid losses of seed viability or from washing of the seed during the winter months," he said. "Either way, the soil will need to be protected somehow from erosion losses over the winter."
That could be achieved by planting annual forages such as cereal rye and oats to control erosion even in perennial mixtures, Little said. Other options growers can use include controlling weeds by mowing or using herbicides as soon as they come in.
Growers can find more information, including management and selection tips, in the OSU Extension "Ohio Agronomy Guide, Bulletin 472" which can be purchased from any of the 88 OSU Extension offices statewide.