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NATIVE GRASS MIXTURES
How to Plant

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How to Plant:
  • On Bare Soil
    1. Rake the soil to form a crumbly seedbed. Do not till deeply as this will encourage new weeds to germinate along with the native grasses.
  • 2. Apply seed with either a drill seeder, hydroseeder, or broadcast spreader along with a carrier (such as sand or vermiculite). For small sites, seeds may be broadcast by hand.
  • 3. Lightly rake to ensure proper soil-seed contact. Roll or track over the seedbed and apply a light straw mulch to preserve moisture and aid soil stabilization. For optimum germination, keep the area evenly moist.

Seeding Into Existing Vegetation:

  • 1. Use Round-up®, following manufacturer's recommendations, to eliminate any grass or weed cover which may compete with native grass germination and establishment.
  • 2. Seed as specified in steps 2 and 3 for bare soil.

Note: All listed conservation mixtures can be dormant seeded as well, once the grass is frozen.

For Environmentally Sensitive Sites  

Till existing vegetation several times during the course of the year prior to planting. Seed as specified above for bare soil.

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Fertilization:

During the first year fertilizers encourage weed growth and shouldn't be used unless the soil is infertile. If necessary, fertilize the site in late spring or early summer when the warm season grasses start their vegetative growth during their second growing season.

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Weed Control

Native grasses prefer a firm seedbed. For best results, use a nonselective herbicide such as Roundup ® prior to planting.

Once the grasses have been seeded, weeds can be culturally controlled the first year and a half by selective mowings at a height above the native grass seedlings (about 3 1/2 - 4"). The mowings will be most effective during spring or early summer during the second growing season as this is when the warm season native grasses will be growing aggressively and starting to go to seed.

Several herbicides are labeled for broadleaf weed control on native grasses. However, they should not be used until the native grass plants have reached the four-leaf stage and the air temperature does not exceed 75º F. Plateau®, a herbicide from American Cyanamid, shows great promise in selectively controlling annual and perennial broadleaf and grassy weeds in warm and cool season turf.

Where local ordinances allow, burning native grass fields in the early spring can effectively control weeds. Fields should be at least two years old prior to burning.

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Mowing

Native grass fields can be mown in late fall or early spring prior to the emergence of new growth. However, this is not recommended as it will decrease the ornamental appeal for the winter and will disrupt wildlife habitats.

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What to Expect

Most native grasses will germinate in two to three weeks and fully mature in two to three years. Root growth is the main activity during the first season of growing warm season native grasses. In order to achieve cover during the first year, adding a cool season native grass or nursegrass such as fine fescue is recommended. Temporary grasses such as annual ryegrass or oats can also be added at low seeding rates.

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PLANT MIXTURE SPECIES IDENTIFICATION

Information above provided courtesy of Pennington Seed, Inc.

Native Grass -  Varieties Native to USA.

 

 

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