Requirements and uses
One of the earliest species adopted for permanent sown pastures. Also suitable for hay and silage, but should be cut before flowering to avoid hay being spoiled by presence of ergot- infected seed heads. Once established, provides good stable ground cover to combat erosion, particularly that caused by water movement.
Grows best on deep, moist, fertile, sandy loams and clays usually of alluvial or basaltic origin. Such soils are subject to compaction under intensive grazing. It has little tolerance of salinity, but is very tolerant of poor drainage. It can be sown at any time from spring to late summer, although best sown just before the expected rainy season since germination and establishment can be slow.
Seeds should be drilled or broadcasted into a well-prepared, fine, weed-free seedbed. It should preferably be placed less than 1.5 cm deep.
- Palatability when young
- Ability to withstand heavy grazing and trampling
- Legume compatibility