For Napier grass (Elephant grass), it attracts the adult stem borers; the adult stem borers lay their eggs on the Napier grass (Elephant grass) instead of the maize plants. When the eggs hatch, the Napier grass (Elephant grass) produces sticky glue that traps and kills the young stem borer.
How to establish a push-pull plot
If you intend to plant maize on a large plot, you have to divide it to about 50m by 50m for the efficiency of the push-pull system. In a very large plot, the Napier grass (Elephant grass) would be too far away from the maize plants; while in smaller plots, there would be no space to accommodate the maize plants, Napier grass (Elephant grass) and the desmodium spp.; Thus, a 50m by 50m plot is the ideal plot for this practice.
Plant three rows of the Napier grass (Elephant grass), all around the plot with a spacing of 75cm between rows and 50cm between plants, forming a fence around the plot. Plant the maize in the Napier grass (Elephant grass) hedge, that is, inside the plot. Use a spacing of 75cm between maize rows and 30cm between seeds in a row. Ensure that the first row of the maize plant is about 1m away from the Napier grass (Elephant grass).
Make a channel of 2cm deep with a pointed stick in the middle of the space between the maize rows to plant the desmodium spp. For a 50m by 50m plot, about 600g of desmodium spp seeds is enough to plant the plot. Mix a handful of the desmodium seeds with two handfuls of sand to ensure an even sowing of the tiny desmodium seeds, cover the soil slightly after sowing.
In case you cannot find the desmodium spp. seeds, you can use the root splits or cuttings. They should have at least two internodes. After about 3 weeks of planting, carry out your first weeding. Prune the desmodium spp. plant at 6 weeks so that they do not outgrow your maize plant. Prune the desmodium spp. plant and serve your livestock.
This is how to plant maize with a push-pull system on the same plot. With this approach, your maize plants are free from these pests’ invasion and effects. Do not be dismayed about the land usage; it is of no sense when you plant with optimal land utilization which later results in low yield. Take the pain to adopt this system on your maize farm to have a reasonable yield with good market value.
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