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Switchgrass - NativeGrasses.com
|SWITCH GRASS: Is a native, perennial warm season
grass used for forage, slow to establish and fast growing up to 2-6 ft. As with a
lot of our native plants it was depleted from over usage, burning, and land clearing for
farming. Renewed interest in this grass is on the rise again.
This grass along with other
plants is also being considered for fuel. Used as fresh forage, pelletized as supplemental
feeds, and ground cover. Switch grass is excellent for renovation of wildlife habitats and
supplying ground birds with insect habitats and ground cover and forage for other
BIO-FUEL USE - VARIETY & PLANTING INFO
For information about varieties and use as bio-mass for
bio-energy purposes - read this link which provides info on
growing, management and variety selection:
Grasses - SWITCH GRASS
It is used in naturalized plantings for erosion
control, field dividers,
conservation areas; most all wildlife habitats can use switch grass in small or larger
areas. It grows in a variety of soils and temperatures and remains a refuge for animals
even through heavy snows. Switch grasses can be used in landscaping area designs and comes
in several color variations and is used in some flower arrangements. With the "pond
and bog" additions to many naturalized settings becoming popular Switch grass makes
another comeback as an ornamental grass.
Grasses - Switchgrass -
Maintenance - Switchgrass -
FERTILIZATION: Depending on the soil and usage up
to 90lbs nitrogen per year.
VARIETIES: Popular varieties - Blackwell, Trailblazer,
Cave-In-Rock, Alamo, Kanlow, Shelter
|LIST OF BASIC VARIETY TYPES:
Collection Info on Varieties:
||Developed by USDA-ARS and
Nebraska Agricultural Research Division, Dept.
of Agronomy, Univ. of Nebraska. Released 1984.
Collections from natural grasslands in Nebraska
and Kansas. Adapted to Central Great Plains and
adjacent Midwestern states. (Good choice for
Midwestern / Southern state areas)
||Developed by Plant Materials Center, NRCS,
Manhattan, Kansas. Released 1944. Upland type
switchgrass. Widely adapted to Kansas, Oklahoma,
southern Nebraska, and northern Texas in areas
with 20 inches or more of annual precipitation.
(Good choice for Midwestern / Southern state
||Plant Materials Center, NRCS in cooperation
with the Missouri AES. Released 1973. Tolerant
to flooding. Adapted to Midwest. (Good choice
for Midwestern / Southern state areas)
||Northern state variety.
||Selected at Nebraska AES, Lincoln, ARS
cooperating. Released 1967. Winter-hardy, late
maturing. (Good choice for Midwestern / Northern
||Northern state variety. (Good choice for
Northern states) - Larger seeds are ideal for
wildlife food purposes.
||Selected at Oklahoma AES, Stillwater, ARS
cooperating. Released 1955. Forage yield under
irrigation outstanding for native grass;
recovers well after mowing.
||Developed by Texas Agricultural Experiment
Station and NRCS, Knox City, Texas. Released
1978. A premier lowland variety, heavy yields
especially in the south. (Good choice for
||Developed at Kansas AES and ARS, Manhattan.
Released 1963. Developed for soil conservation
in poorly drained or frequently flooded sites.
(Good choice for Midwestern / Southern states)
|Basic variety info Source:
Oregon State University, 2006.
(Modified by Seedland)
PREPARATION: Soil testing, supplements if needed and pH of 5 and eradication of
competing grasses and weeds.
SEEDING: Drill seeded on large acreage and can be broadcast on smaller plots at
5-10 LB/ A depending upon the seed (live or bulk)
- Spring planting is best (soil temp 65+ degrees)
MANAGEMENT: Use rotational grazing methods, overgrazing will kill it back,
mown high and hayed in mid to late June, small foodplots can be mown high and controlled
burnings at the appropriate times such as early spring when the growth is starting to
encourage insect populations and open areas for the ground birds to move through. Or it
can simply be left alone.
ADAPTATIONS: About ¾ of the United States and can grow on seashores all the way to
swamps, inland areas, along streams and drought prone areas.
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