Subtropical Grasses

Subtropical (warm season, C4) perennial grasses are traditionally grown in summer rainfall environments. However, they can be successfully grown in the Mediterranean environments due to a combination of drought tolerance and the mild winter conditions in coastal districts. Well adapted species can survive extended dry periods and resume growth rapidly after summer-autumn rainfall. They can increase production on poor sandy soils and provide year-round groundcover to minimise the loss of topsoil as a result of strong winds. The feed quality depends on grazing management and nitrogen fertilisation, while most species require some form of rotational grazing to persist. Most of the species are tufted grasses and perform well in mixtures with other species with similar growth habits.