Friday, June 1, 2012

Growing Tips for Switchgrass



Switchgrass is a prairie grass that grows naturally in the central plains in the US.  This native grass provides many animals with forage and shelter.  You can grow switch grass in masses or grow switchgrass as an accent plant by planting 10 to 12 seeds together.
Switchgrass "Trailblazer"Panicum Seeds Drought tolerant. Very hardy.

My prairie, phlox and switchgrass
My home is located in the central states and prairie grass is abundant in large open spaces; fields, meadows and pastures.  I like the movement of prairie grass and that it provides forage and shelter for wildlife.  A few years ago my husband and I decided to plant upland switchgrass seeds on the hilly and rocky land on the side of our home. 

The fully grown grass attracted wild turkey, pheasant, rabbits, fox and white tail deer. By growing prairie grass it has provided us with a natural way to relax.  We enjoy sitting on the deck and looking at the native grass and the wildlife. 




Choosing Prairie Grass Seed
Choose the grass seed that meets your needs do this by determining your soil type.  For heavy soil, or soil that is found in bottom land sites you would choose a lowland switchgrass seed. This seed will grow up to 12 feet in height.  If you reside in a mountain region or hilly terrain or if you land has rocks then choose upland seed.  The upland switchgrass will grow to the height of six feet.

Ornamental native switchgrass seeds that I recommend:
Where to Plant Grass
Choose a planting area that has well drained soil and full sun.  

How to Plant Native Grass
Get the growing site ready for spring planting by mowing the area to the height of two inches in late fall.  

In early spring break up the soil with tiller. Then follow the tiller with a cultivator to break up the soil clumps and then go over the soil with a lawn roller to smooth and firm the soil before planting the grass seeds.

Planting Grass Seeds
Plan to plant grass seeds when rain is in the forecast. Sow the seeds with broadcaster and follow the broadcaster with a ½ inch layer of top soil.

Prairie grass will germinate in 14 days and will be fully grown in 60 days.

Care for Grass
Grass will grow well if the annual rainfall is an average of 20 inches. If you have a heat wave or dry spell it is best to water the grass. 

Tips:
Switchgrass is resistant to erosion, pests, disease, drought and pollution. It is also drought tolerant and very hardy.

Harvest the grass after a hard frost when the crop has died back.

Switchgrass can be processed into a liquid and then used for clean energy biofuel. 

Grow switchgrass to clean the air. This grass is a natural way to remove carbon dioxide.

Learn more about switchgrass here:









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