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Soils and Climate for Chinese Reed

Humous clay soils with good irrigation are the best for the cultivation of elephant grass. Unfit are very heavy soils and such ones that tend to compaction. The soil should be wet, but it should not be water-logged at the depth down to 1 m (pH 5−8). Goudweeds should not play any dominating role. The cultivation of miscanthus / Chinese reed on corn/maize fields with a soil value starting from 60 results in excellent revenues, however, even weaker soils provide satisfactory outputs.

The vigor of miscanthus plants, along with the soil valuation depends to a great extent on the level and distribution of precipitation till about mid-September. The level of precipitation of 700-900 mm at a good distribution is considered to be ideal during the vegetation period. At a lower precipitation level, the harvest may decrease, about 500 mm being the minimum allowed. Longer dry periods may result in the growth stoppage with partly defoliation. The growth will continue as soon as precipitation or irrigation take place.

Miscanthus, Elefantengras, Chinaschilf, Chinagras

Miscanthus Fields in Oberhofen, Austria

The annual average temperatures should be above +7°C, better 8.5°C. Dry-summer locations are not recommended. Cultivation in locations 700-800 m above sea level is problematic, the same applies to very snowy areas. Low temperatures may produce adverse effect on young plants.
Nothern slopes, cold-accumulating valley locations as well as locations tending to late frosts, are unfit for cultivation. The leaves of young sprouts die at temperatures under -5°C, but they are usually able to set new shoots afterwards. For a good wintering of rhizomes, it would be preferable to provide a closed snowy cover in the regions with very low temperatures.

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© - Reinhard Sperr (2008 – 2017)