Consol lovegrass

Page last updated: Tuesday, 30 October 2018 - 9:36am

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Table 1 Soil-climate adaptation of Consol lovegrass

Rainfall (estimated minimum)

>375mm (>350mm south coast)

Drought tolerance

High to very high

Frost tolerance

Moderate

Soil type

Suited to a range of soil types, including coarse-textured soils and deep sands

Soil fertility requirements

Will grow on infertile soils, but requires fertiliser for high production

Soil pHCa

>4.0 (est.)

Aluminium tolerance

High

Waterlogging tolerance

Low to moderate

Salt tolerance

Slight

Ability to spread naturally

Low, much less competitive than naturalised type

Table 2 Nutritive value of Consol lovegrass. Note acronym: megajoules per kilogram of dry matter (MJ/kg DM)
Dry matter digestibility 55-60%
Metabolisable energy 7.7-8.4MJ/kg DM
Crude protein 10-12.5%
Table 3 Environmental benefits of Consol lovegrass
Groundwater recharge control Good
Soil erosion control Very good
Ability to reduce rate of soil acidification Good

Establishment

Consol lovegrass has very small seeds – 5 million per kilogram (kg) – and needs to be sown at a very shallow depth (1-5mm). A carrier (e.g. fine sawdust, fertiliser) may assist with uniform seed distribution during sowing, or use coated seed. Seeding rates of 1kg per hectare (ha) (uncoated) will give seedling densities of 100 plants per square metre (m2) under favourable conditions, which subsequently decline to a stable sward with about 20 plants/m2 in a medium rainfall environment.

Consol can be sown earlier in spring than other sub-tropical grasses or even dry sown, as it induces seed dormancy until soil moisture and temperature conditions are favourable for germination. It has the ability to germinate at slightly lower soil temperatures than most sub-tropical grasses. There is some germination at 10°C, increasing germination at 15°C with the highest germination at 20°C.

If initial establishment is poor, the plant density can be increased by periodically allowing the stand to set seed.

Livestock disorders

None reported.

Contact information

Geoff Moore
+61 (0)8 9368 3293

Author

Geoff Moore