Cynodon dactylon

Cynodon dactylon

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Main features

The botanical name Cynodon dactylon indicates the red Gramigna, a typical weed, present above all in the gardens of south-central Italy, native to Asia. It is a robust plant that survives even the hottest and driest summers. In fact, the red Gramigna is perfectly suited for cultivation even in areas with particularly dry sandy soil. Usually it does not need regular watering, being satisfied with the irrigations provided by rainfall. It is a macrothermal plant, which stops its development in the cold season, while it is particularly lush in spring and autumn. Watering is provided only when the turf is being sown; later the Cynodon dactylon develops independently. Often turf rugs are composed of a mix of seeds, of different plants; if the Gramigna is mixed with some common ryegrass, then it is important to water the turf, to avoid it remaining dry for a long time.

The cultivation of red couch grass

Until a few decades ago Cynodon dactylon was considered a weed, whose presence in the garden was averted by regular weeding, followed also by the manual removal of residual plants, by eradication from the ground. Today the red Gramigna is particularly appreciated for its qualities, since it is a plant that develops even in prohibitive conditions: it bears intense heat, even higher than 35 ° C, and does not ruin even with a massive trampling. To make Gramigna grass mats more pleasant, they have produced varieties with particularly short internodes, which form a compact lawn and a beautiful bright green color. The plants of the new varieties, often called Bermuda grass, are low and compact and allow to reduce turf watering and even pruning, making it possible to set up low maintenance lawns.

Fertilize weeds

One of the most interesting peculiarities of the red Gramigna is that it is not at all demanding as regards the presence of mineral salts in the soil. For this reason it is not necessary to intervene several times for fertilization, although it still produces a beautiful, lush, healthy and resistant lawn. In spring, sprinkle a small amount of pelleted manure or slow release granular fertilizer on the ground, specially formulated for the turf. No other type of fertilizer is needed. The Gramigna red allows to prepare a lawn also in soils that could not allow the cultivation of plants for the turf, because it is excessively poor in nutrients, dry or sandy. The main defect of Cynodon dactylon lies in the fact that cultivation in areas with very cold winters is not recommended at all.

Cynodon dactylon: Pests and diseases

Today, for lawns, new varieties of Cynodon dactylon are mainly cultivated, but they have inherited much of the peculiarities of the botanical species. These are plants that live in full sun, which tend to develop less if placed in partial shade, or in full shade. Parasites tend not to attack these plants, although it can happen that a very cold or particularly humid climate promotes the development of fungi, which can create gaps in the turf. Before sowing a lawn totally consisting of red Gramigna in your garden it is important to ask information to a good gardener in the area, who is able to advise us on the opportunity to use this seed. In fact, cultivation in some areas of Italy is not recommended at all.


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