Star grass (cynodon dactylon), Bermuda grass or couch grass

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Star grass (cynodon dactylon), Bermuda grass or couch grass is a creeping perennial grass mainly having stolons and rhizomes. It can be a serious weed where it is not cultivated especially in the arable farming or pastures.

star grass

It is usually unsuitable for crop/pasture rotation but a valuable permanent pasture which can resist animal trampling.

It grows tall if not grazed and become stemmy and coarse therefore unpalatable having very high fibre content. To keep high palatability the grass should be grazed closely before they attain maturity. If grazing is not possible mowing should be done.

About 90% of the grass grows where livestock congregate i.e. in watering points, paddock areas, and under trees therefore the grass can grow anywhere provided the temperatures and soil conditions are suitable. The grass can withstand intense drought but requires fairly fertile soil. In Kenya it grows in all marginal areas to high potential areas.

The grass should not be mixed with legumes. Establishment is by stem cuttings at about 400 kg/ha which is broadcasted. Cuttings should be about 1½  to 3 cm in length.  machinery should be rolled after broadcasting or alternatively animals should be allowed to trample on it.

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