Orchard grass is a cool season perennial grass adapted to temperate climate areas. The branched orchard grass inflorescence is a compact or partly spreading panicle. Seed heads are composed of spikelets that bear two to eight florets. Spikelets are attached to panicle branches by pedicels. Flowers are borne in one-sided clusters on stiff branches. Leaves vary in color from green to bluish-green. The lower surface is not shiny and has a distinct keel (center ridge). Leaf margins and leaf sheaths usually are somewhat rough to the touch when mature. Orchard grass has good tolerance to heat and drought. It is a highly productive grass suitable for hay or pasture on well-drained soils under irrigated or non irrigated conditions. Best used in situations where high quality management can be exercised. Orchard grass does not have any serious insect pest problems.
Timothy hay is dried versions of Timothy grass (P. Pratense), which is thought to have originated on the European continent. Many people who raise horses and cattle find Timothy hay to be ideal as part of animal feed. It may be mixed with other ingredients, especially alfalfa and red clover. Certain domestic animals like rabbits and guinea pigs may also enjoy it as well. It is especially noted for a relatively low protein content, low moisture (which can help keep the dried grass from rotting), and high fiber content. Many animal care experts recommend it due to its seeming ease on various animals’ digestive systems and its promotion of bowel regularity. Another reason that Timothy hay may be preferable to other forms, especially legume based forms of hay like alfalfa, is because of its low calcium content.