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We currently sell small lots of seed for experimental and gardening purposes.  ORDER ONLINE at BOTTOM of this PAGE. TO SEE How you can Plant 1 kg of Desmanthus into 1 Hectare of Grassland (with Cattle) GO TO: Trample Planting Link ABOVE.  

TO STRIKE SEED in Gardens: Soak seed for 24 hours + then mix with sand to separate. Plant 20 mm deep and cover with soft soil/sand to avoid crusting. Maintain moist soil until emergence.  27 degree C daytime temp. required.       

SALES to QLD NSW VIC SA NT ONLY (Special 1kg Free Lucerne with 1 kg Desmanthus Seed in Calico Bags = ORDER at BOTTOM of Page + Option to SWAP Lucerne Lucerne or Any Other Annual SEED = Just Add to NOTES when You Order)

Desmanthus is excellent Summer Green pick for Chickens and Turkeys.

In Field Situations it prefers better alluvial soil types with 400 to 900 mm Spring and Summer Rain combined. Grazing is then managed to ensure seed set before Winter.  You can can feed Desmanthus in “cattle licks” during Oct/Nov/Dec on full moisture profiles. SEE TRAMPLE PLANTING Below.         

Desmanthus virgatus 200,000 Seeds per KG  

Hugh Desmanthus: To 1.8 metres tall. Can grow from seed to maturity and set seed within 5 months in field situation. In shade house situation, we have cut established plants back and they have regrown for seed 3 times in one season. Rare and Special Release: This is the only known seed of this variety for sale in Australia today. It was introduced and distributed into Australia by the QLD  DPI and The MLA in 1990’s. It no longer has any Plant Breeder Right Restrictions so you are free to breed and sell the seed. (previously known as bayamo) GG sells Hugh D as part our our Seed Kit Range.

Derivatives of Bayamao are now on market with Plant Breeder Rights attached. Current Retail Price $28,000 per Tonne. So if you have water – we welcome new plant breeders.

  Stalk is from 6 to 20 mm thick. Unrealised potential as garden hedgerow for shade and wind protection, especially for sweet potato, melons, pumpkins. Individual plants live for 3 or more years. Frost cuts it back, then regrows from base in spring. Once established plants can survive extended dry periods. Has survived here at Janahn Forest for over a decade.   Will thrive in watered and nourished gardens with humus rich soil.  Frost will defoliate in June or we may defoliate with sheep in May.     

Marc Desmanthus: 600 to 900 mm tall. Early flowering, will grow from seed and then set seed within 4 1/2 months in a watered garden. Readily available on the open market, mostly in bulk, lime and chemical treated. Plant Breeder Rights have expired on this Variety. We currently have untreated seed (order online at bottom of this page) in small units.

LOW COST ESTABLISHMENT = Start with 1 kg per hectare and seed spreads annually via cattle dung . GO TO: TRAMPLE PLANTING SMALL SEEDS into PASTURE

Mulch: Earthworm food when cut and laid. Potential for multiple cuts during growing season. Self-mulches from frost.

Add: To fermenting liquid fertilisers.

People: Dry stalks suitable as kindling.

Planting Window: Plant warm season once day temperatures exceed 29 degrees and frost has ended.  PLANTING UNDER FIELD CONDITIONS for PASTURE: Our objective is to have about 10% of a grass based pasture interplanted with desmanthus. With the right soil, rainfall and companion grasses it will persist and prosper. Initially you need only one plant per 100 square metres. Over time plant density will increase as hard seed will remain viable for many years in the soil, waiting for the right rainfall opportunity to strike.

Trample Planting Technique: Broadcast 1 or more kilos of untreated seed per hectare into a standing body of grass during Winter/Spring. Bring cattle in to graze and trample grasses. Big rainfall events 100mm plus will activate some but not all seed. If you only establish 200 plants per hectare in first growing season and allow for full seed set and then grazing, you may have 2000 plants the following season, then 20,000, then 200,000 and so on. With this low cost no cultivation required technique we now have patches of Marc Desmanthus with 100 plants per square metre. The value of Desmanthus is not so much from the plant, but its conditioning effect on the soil. More rainfall penetrates where desmanthus grows. During cool moist periods, earthworms will work underneath the canopy of desmanthus plants.

Planting Rates in Gardens: To establish a dense “forest canopy effect thicket” of desmanthus plant 25 to 100 grams of seed per 100 square metres. You may sow during winter and overplant with mustard or some other cover crop. Seed will lay dormant until warm season and moisture is available.  Desmanthus is a very small seed. If you overplant it will self regulate its density. Many variables at play when establishing. If you have a clean fine tilled seed bed you may be confidently more frugal with planting rates. Untreated seed requires moist soil and regular watering to establish, especially first 3 months. You need wet moist soil to establish desmanthus. Planting in Hedgerows: This is now our preferred method of planting for a range of reasons, most importantly, being ease of management. You can stretch 100 grams of seed by initially planting a narrow hedge, so there are no hard and fast rules, however, 100 grams will be more than ample for 20 metres of hedgerow, if not more, depending upon seedbed preparation.

WORTH EXPERIMENTING FIRST: Before you commit to broad scale plantings of any variety, try one paddock to see if it is compatible with your soil and existing grasses. Winter trample planting of untreated seed has worked well here. You can trample plant a corner section of a paddock and keep it safe behind a hot wire until it sets seed.

Germination Rate: All seed is untreated. We provide instructions on how to break any seed dormancy. Or use untreated and big rain events will eventually strike seed. 50% minimum germination rate. Small seed similar to lucerne.

Maturity: Plants will seed within 4-7 months under ideal condition. Established plants will survive winter and regrow from base in spring. Easy to hand harvest for onward sowing.

Suitable Soil Type: In watered humus rich gardens Desmanthus will exceed open field conditions. Typically grown in Brigalow Clay and Red Loam soils with success in Rainfall Zones from 600 mm plus. Hugh has colonised old red scrub soils at Janahn Forest. Marc thrives in heavier alluvial clays.

Planting Methods: Planted mostly as a hedge in gardens: sprinkle 50 seeds per metre length of hedgerow (about 100 mm wide) into a well prepared seedbed about 25 mm deep. Water in and maintain moist soil until seeds strike in 10-14 days.  


PHOTO 1: Hedges of Hugh Desmanthus 3-4 months old in a watered garden. Hugh is Part of GREEN LEAF FODDER Seed Kits Range.


PHOTO 2: Desmanthus stalks in winter with mustard. Plant regrows from base in Spring. This is a typical hedgerow of desmanthus. In our Longyard Garden during Winter 2018, multiple sections have been planted to create dense thickets of desmanthus. The forest canopy effect will shade our grasses and other groundcovers. Chickens will be periodically grazed to assist with keeping the ground clear of competing species. The desmanthus once established is strong enough to co-exist with chickens. It would be possible to broadcast or lay kitchen food scrapes or slaughter house offal into such a system to feed insects that in turn become chicken fodder. Then during Autumn or Winter, sheep are introduced and winter seed may be trample planted. Whilst these techniques are experimental in nature, we have defined many reliable methods of production that are being presented in our Stories Section over the next few seasons.


PHOTO 3: Ideal shade for vine crops. This was an early experiment, the desmanthus is not so visible. Now we plant mostly in hedgerow formations.


PHOTO 4: Hugh Desmanthus at about 1 metre Tall showing signs of moisture stress. During extreme dry, it will shed its leaves, then re-strike from its root base upon good rain.


PHOTO 5: Tall stalks of a Hedge of Hugh Desmanthus recently defoliated by sheep.


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