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Ornamental Grass

ornamental-grass.jpgGrasses respond and start to grow based upon temperature. Some grasses will start to grow in early spring when temperatures are still cool (Cool Season Grasses) and others will wait until the soil is warm and temperatures are more stable (Warm Season Grasses). As with any other perennial, success depends greatly on soil preparation and good drainage. Ornamental grasses require relatively low levels of fertility. Plants should be well watered the first season to help develop a good root system.

Grasses are clump forming or rhizome forming. Clump forming grasses grow in mounds or clumps. They mix well with other perennials and are not invasive. Many will increase in size slowly over time. The rhizome forming grasses, or "running" grass, spread by underground stems and can become invasive.

 PLANTING: Most should be planted in a sunny location, spacing appropriate to the ultimate height and spread of the species. Grasses are widely tolerant of soils, many will thrive in wet soils and are excellent by the water's edge, and many will tolerate poor, dry soils.


MAINTENANCE: While grasses may require two to three seasons to become fully established, they are of the easiest, most trouble-free culture. They will withstand drought once established, and are virtually untouched by insects and diseases. The only pruning needed is to annually cut back to ground level in late winter or very, very early spring. Winter mulch is recommended. Once established, clumps may require dividing from time to time. To dry seeds, cut before seed ripens, and hang upside-down in a dark place.