Curly Windmill grass commonly occurs in arid tropical and arid temperate zones across Australia. You will mostly likely find wide distributions of this grass if you are travelling in the dry, inland of northern parts of Australia. Curly Windmill grass looks a lot like the common native grass Windmill grass from the Chloris genus. This is due to the similar windmill form of seedhead, however it is possible to tell them apart. You can visually separate the two grasses by paying attention to the arms of the flower heads. This grass’s seedhead will be radiating from a central point in all directions to form a sphere. The arms of the Chloris species tend to radiate in one plane forming an umbrella shape.
Curly Windmill grass grows on soils that are mildly acid to alkaline and usually of high clay content. Curly Windmill grass is reasonably good salt tolerance and it is great for soils that are dryland salinity. This grass grows on mine-waste soils with high salt content and survives where most other grasses fail.
Curly Windmill grass is high quality forage under low input systems. Being highly palatable and can easily be grazed out of set stocked pastures. Rotational grazing is the preferred management technique. This grass can be used under horticultural applications of vines or tree fruits in the more arid areas. It does not produce excess foliage and will persist over many years if not mowed too regularly. Curly Windmill grass produces attractive upright seedheads over the summer period. If you are after a low maintenance grass for landscaping this is the ideal choice. It can be use as golf course roughs and if mowed, is a good lawn for passive recreation.
- Very high drought tolerance
- Very high heat tolerance
- Flood tolerant
- Frost tolerant (still dormant in winter)
- High salt tolerance
Seedlings are moderately vigorous and prefer to be sown into weed-free conditions. Seed should be sown either on the surface or just below surface level. The seed is quite small and should not be buried too deep.
Germination under warm and wet conditions can be from seven to ten days, but will be longer if conditions cool or moisture ceases.
Sowing rate: 1 to 2 kg/ha for revegetation and pasture.
- For best results try to ensure that the seed bed is weed free. Native grasses are slow growers and effective weed control is highly desirable.
- It is also incredibly helpful to know the pH levels of your soil so take soil sample to test your soil pH level, following test kit instructions.
- While the soil is under preparation, it is a good idea to sow a few seeds into a sterile seed raising mix to be kept moist until germination. This will allow for easier identification of lawn seedlings once the lawn is sown.
- Before sowing, the soil surface should be loosened with either a rake or harrows to ensure adequate seed to soil contact.
- No fertiliser is necessary. in particular, avoid any phosphate-based fertilisers. the addition of organic matter however will add to a successful result.
- Spread the seed evenly over the prepared surface and rake it in, so it is lightly covered. Seed sown deeper than 15 mm may not germinate.
- Where possible, try rolling the area as it lightly presses soil particles together and ensures grass seeds are in contact with the soil. This will eliminate air pockets that could interfere with seed germination and growth and a rolled seedbed also holds moisture longer.
- If there is access to irrigation, for the first three weeks, water approximately 2-3 times a week, taking into account the weather. It is important after sowing grass seed to ensure seeds do not dry out.
- Use the sown seed sample to help identify grass seedlings from weeds.
Unfortunately due to Quarantine restrictions this product is not available to Western Australia