Boma Rhodes grass is one of the best fodder you can grow for cows. It is the main type of grass grown by commercial dairy farmers in Kenya and contributed greatly to high milk production in cows.
The Boma Rhodes grass is a perennial grass that originates from South Africa. It should be sowed during the beginning of the rainy season if you want to achieve good results.
The Boma Rhodes grass has a strong root system which helps it get water during the dry season. Boma Rhodes grass spreads quickly, forming a good ground cover, and can grow up to 1.5m in height.
This grass is such a blessing for it can grow almost anywhere in Kenya. As long as your soil is good and you have water…boom! Oh and it t also recovers well in case of fire.
How to grow Boma Rhodes Grass
I have been growing Boma Rhodes grass for quite some time and this is how I usually sow the seeds;
- Plough and harrow your shamba a month before the rainy season. Make sure all the soil lumps have been broken down and the shamba is looking nice and neat.
- Wait for the rains to start before sowing.
- Use a jembe and make rows across your farm at a spacing of 60m by 90 from each other and it should be consolidated properly to facilitate good germination. This works well for guys with small acreages.
- Mix your seeds with dry sand and fertilizer preferably NPK (Nitrogen (N), Phosphorus (P), and Potassium (K), and scatter them inside the rows you made.
- The Boma Rhodes grass seeds are usually too small so the dry sand helps in spacing the seeds during sowing. You can also use dry soil or sawdust for mixing.
- Get a tractor and drive on top of the rows for compaction. This will make the seeds get in contact with moist soil so they will absorb moisture and germinate. Cover the seeds with light soil if you can’t get a tractor. Use tree branches or a rake for this job. Do not cover them with a lot of soil for this will prevent them from germinating properly.
- Sowing Boma Rhodes seeds is also done by a wheat drill or planter. This is favorable for large-scale farmers. It is easy to use and operate. The seeds go where wheat seeds go and fertilizer goes into the fertilizer area.
How to apply fertilizer for growing Boma Rhodes grass
I usually grow my Boma Rhodes seeds with NPK fertilizer. I use 1 bag of 50kg per acre. The rate mostly depends on the type of soil so make sure you get your soil tested beforehand.
What is the seed rate of Boma Rhodes seeds per acre?
Boma Rhodes grass seeds are quite vigorous and a small amount of seed can do wonders. You can grow an acre with as little as 2kg of seed. This is however only possible if you are sowing by hand using rows.
It is however recommended to sow 5kg of Boma Rhodes seeds per acre. This usually works best for me.
Weeding Boma Rhodes grass
Start weeding on the 3rd week after planting. This will reduce competition from weeds. Once this is done all will be well. The grass will colonize all the spaces, giving no room for weeds to grow.
How to make hay using Boma Rhodes grass
Boma Rhodes grass is the best type of grass for haymaking. You will have nothing to worry about once drought strikes. Cows love them and your milk will not be affected as the drought ravages on. However, cows don’t depend on grass alone. You also need maize silage and a lot of water for a great milk supply.
The harvest you’re the Boma Rhodes grass when it has achieved 50% flowering. This is when the grass head is opening halfway.
Harvest your grass when there is no hint of rain! Hay and rain are not friends. Make sure you harvest fast before the clouds reach your farm.
Turn the grass using a farm fork to ensure even drying.
Boma Rhodes yield per acre
You can get between 200-250 bales of Boma Rhodes grass per acre. If you neglect to feed your grass then you will get 150 bales. Top dress with CAN one month after planting and after harvesting.
Why you should bale Boma Rhodes grass
Baling Boma Rhodes grass helps in storage. It allows more hay to be stored in a small space. You can hire baling machines from neighbors or use a manual baling machine. In most cases, the guys leasing baling machines will also cut and dry the hay for you at an agreed price.
1 cow requires 14kg of hay per day.
How long does Boma Rhodes last before I plant again?
Your grass will last for 5 years after which you will plow and replant.
Where can I get Boma Rhodes seeds?
Contact Makimara farm for Boma Rhodes seeds.
Apply 1 bag of 50kg CAN after cutting. This will boost the grass every season.