Grows at altitudes from 600 m to 2000 m. It does well in areas receiving more than 250 mm rainfall annually and also persists well
under drought conditions.
Grows in a wide range of soil conditions but performs best in loamy, fertile soils. It does not do well in alkaline or very acid soils.
It is best grown as a pure stand. Plough and repeat at least once to make a fine seedbed. Plough again when the weeds have emerged to reduce competition during establishment. Sow immediately after this ploughing.
Rhodes grass is usually established from seed but root splits can also be used. The best time to sow where there are two rainy seasons is during the short rains. Where there is one rainy season, plant from early to mid rains. Sow when the soil is loose (dry). Make furrows 25 cm apart, using a peg to measure. Drill the seeds in the furrows, at a seed rate of 12 kg per hectare (2.5 acres). That means 1.2 kg will sow 0.1 ha or 1/4 acre. Cover the seeds lightly, for example by placing light tree branches over the furrows.
Apply fertilizer or manure during planting to promote strong root development. Recommended fertilizer are DAP at 1-2 bags/ha.For good results broadcast 10 ton/ha of manure and harrow before planting.
For high productivity, apply nitrogen fertilizer, preferably during heavy rains, at the rate of 100 kg per hectare.
Make sure the plot is weed free when it is first sown. Remove weeds between the rows using a hand hoe.
No diseases of importance but common pests such as armyworm may attack the pastures.