Sorghum Sudangrass is a bunching-grass cover crop that creates a dense mat of vegetation. The tall vegetation looks similar to corn, but with smaller leaf blades. It is a fast-growing cover crop which allows it to quickly establish, outpacing the growth of competing weeds. Once established, the mat of vegetation will prevent any new weeds from breaking through the vegetation. Sudangrass also has deeply penetrating roots that loosen compacted soils, providing aeration and increasing soil drainage.
Sorghum Sudangrass is a great addition to soils that have been heavily farmed and may be depleted of nutrients and organic matter. When mowed and incorporated into the soil as “green manure”, it adds significant amounts of organic matter to increase soil health and tilth. Sudangrass is also a great cover crop for suppressing nematode populations. The addition of organic matter through cover cropping is known to reduce nematode populations. But the decomposition of the mowed material also releases specific natural compounds that are suppressive to nematode populations.
Sorghum Sudangrass should be planted when soils reach 65-70 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be broadcast and covered with a rake or planted with a precision planter like our Hoss Garden Seeder. It grows fast and will reach maturity in 80 – 100 days. Although it can be planted in spring, we suggest using it as a transition crop between spring and fall crops. Once spring crops have expired, use the Sudangrass to restore soils before fall plantings. As with all cover crops, they should be cut or mowed before going to seed as this will prevent any future reseeding issues. Sudangrass can reach up to 12 feet tall, but is easier to maintain if mowed at shorter heights of 5-7 feet tall. It is considered to be drought tolerant once established and may be mowed multiple times throughout the warmer months.
Sorghum Sudangrass Planting Information:
Planting Depth: 1/2″
Seeding Rate: 1 lb per 1,000 sq. ft.
Cover Crop Recommendation Chart