How To Plant & Care For Native Grasses

How To Plant & Care For Native Grass

When planting native grass, the ideal time is spring to early summer when soil temperatures begin to rise above 60 F, through the end of July. Planting after August 1st is not recommended, as plants may not be well established to stand up to an early frost. The second choice is November through May. Fall and early spring plantings will usually lie dormant through the winter and germinate in the spring.

To avoid competition, completely clear the area you plan to plant. This can be done by spraying with a herbicide, tilling, pulling, or a combination of these. After clearing the area to be planted, break up soil to 1 to 2 inches in depth. To maintain a beautiful grass site of any kind, weed control must be a permanent part of the program.

Use the recommended rate on the seed tag, which will be sufficient to provide an adequate stand of native grass on a well prepared soil with weed control and proper moisture. Higher seeding rates and supplemental water are recommended when adequate soil preparation is impossible, or high density stands are desired.

Broadcast seeds lightly by hand and rake in, covering seeds no more than 2 to 3 times their thickness. If seeds are drilled, the maximum depth should be 1/4.

Newly planted native grass must be kept moist for at least 4 to 6 weeks until the seedlings are well established. Up to 1 inch of supplemental water per week may be required under arid conditions for establishment.

Native grasses do not require the special care the ornamental or decorative plantings require. They do, however, require weeding and occasional watering to enjoy them to the fullest.