Wildflowers forum: Native grasses - do you grow them?

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Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 24, 2014 7:05 AM CST
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If so, which varieties do you prefer and what are your experiences with them?


The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 24, 2014 7:56 AM CST
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I grow some native grasses...
Mostly shoot pics of the bluestem and the switch grass... But I also have panic grass, and a number of oats...

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Native grasses are so much prettier than nasty turf...

Even bahia looks nicer when in bloom...
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I have a number of others like purple top... that I'm not finding this morning...

But... yay natives!
Leave the lawn mower in the garage...
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 24, 2014 8:06 AM CST
Very nice, stone. Thanks for the pictures. I couldn't find any of my pics but will as soon as I'm not looking for them. We back up to woods and our back yard is mostly wildflowers (some would call it weeds) and whatever else grows there. Unfortunately some Bermuda grass that I deplore. I have it mowed on occasion during the summer to help keep the ticks at bay.

I have the Northern Sea Oats and also the switch grasses. I like them both.

Did you seed?
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 24, 2014 8:17 AM CST
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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Tara
NE, Florida (Zone 9a)
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terrafirma
Feb 24, 2014 9:21 AM CST
I love the native grasses. I started adding some to my garden a couple years back…Mostly the pink Muhly grass. I do also have a Purple Fountain grass. I've read that some have found this one to be invasive in warmer climates, but I've never found that to be the case.
I did have a Miscanthus sinensis 'Zebrinus', but I'll be waiting to see if it survived this winter. It's a small one in a container, and was left out and ignored (forgotten) *Blush* Whistling We'll wait and see…
I will be looking to add more this year...
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 24, 2014 9:27 AM CST
I like Pink Muhly and Purple Fountain grasses a lot. I have a dwarf fountain grass that has reseeded in places I didn't put it so it has some tendency to spread here but doesn't appear to be that bad ... yet. My climate isn't as warm as yours.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: stone
near Macon Georgia (USA) (Zone 8a)
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stone
Feb 25, 2014 5:56 AM CST
SongofJoy said:Very nice, stone. Thanks for the pictures. I couldn't find any of my pics but will as soon as I'm not looking for them. We back up to woods and our back yard is mostly wildflowers (some would call it weeds) and whatever else grows there. Unfortunately some Bermuda grass that I deplore. I have it mowed on occasion during the summer to help keep the ticks at bay.

I have the Northern Sea Oats and also the switch grasses. I like them both.

Did you seed?


I did something better...
I've encouraged the naturals!

I've always found that the native grasses and wildflowers were there... just waiting for their chance... plenty of seeds in the seed bank, for anyone that avoided turf and herbicides... and compulsive weeding of plants they didn't recognize...

Mowing in the summer seems like a way to lose the native wildflowers...
I've heard that guinea fowl were the solution for ticks... definitely on my wish list...

Good luck with the bermuda... hate that stuff... but I have patches of it in my meadow too... the meadow is large enough that it really doesn't affect me...

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 25, 2014 6:24 AM CST
Yes, lots of natives here. I haven't lost much of anything by mowing some in the summer. She mows high. Lots of grasses and wildflowers abound. We're fortunate that way.

Since the neighbors have it, the Bermuda is a constant battle with not much to do except keep it mowed back. It comes over from their yard and they never edge the fence line. Since Bermuda doesn't like to be shaded, paths and patches of old roof shingles covering it work well to knock it down for awhile. And a good way to recycle shingles.

http://garden.org/ideas/view/SongofJoy/233/Little-House-on-t...

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Christine
North East Texas (Zone 7b)
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wildflowers
Feb 25, 2014 10:54 AM CST

Moderator

I really love all the natives, including native grasses. Buffalo Grass is probably my favorite. It doesn't grow very tall. There are some ornamental grasses that grow here that I think look attractive over winter but, I admit this is one area of plants that I haven't learned the names of.


Unfortunately I have $*&# @%## er, I mean bermuda grass trying to take over my cottage garden! Last year I tried cardboard boxes covered with mulch that might have slowed it just a tad and the year before tried that cloth ground cover stuff but it didn't work so may have to find some old shingles.
May your life be like a wildflower, growing freely in the beauty and joy of each day --Native American Proverb

Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Feb 25, 2014 11:04 AM CST
I hear that, Christine. Most things are powerless against an onslaught of B. grass. Angry
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Feb 25, 2014 3:57 PM CST

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That was a wonderful article you posted Tee, my experience is very similar.
I don't have many grasses, just Inland Seaoats and Mexican Feather Grass, but I like them all.

Did you know that some of the prairie grasses have roots that go down 13 to 15 feet?
They open up the soil and carry water down to the aquafers instead of letting the water run off. Smiling
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Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 25, 2014 4:19 PM CST
Thank you, Jo. I knew some of the grasses had deep roots like that but 13-15 feet is amazing, isn't it.

I don't remember the name of this one. I'll see if I can find it.
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The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
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Gleni
Feb 26, 2014 10:45 PM CST
We have one of your grasses that made it into Australia as packaging for Whiskey and it has become a major weed. When it dies, it releases a natural herbicide that is not much good for other vegetation.

I am not sure what you call it but we call it Whiskey Grass Andropogon virginicus.
Apparently, we are being punished for being drunkards. *Blush*
[Last edited by Gleni - Feb 27, 2014 12:35 AM (+)]
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Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
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frostweed
Feb 26, 2014 11:19 PM CST

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Well, sorry about that. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 27, 2014 3:41 AM CST
We have it here where I live --the land of bourbon whiskey-- so it isn't just ya'll in Australia. Yes, that one is a prolific seed producer introduced into your country. Despite it's problems, it's still sometimes sold as an ornamental here. Angry
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Glen Ingram
Macleay Is, Qld, Australia (Zone 12a)
Bearded Dragon young male
Region: Australia Annuals Canning and food preservation Herbs Tropicals Foliage Fan
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Gleni
Feb 27, 2014 3:52 AM CST
Tee, to be honest, I thought it was a native species (it looks very similar to Kangaroo Grass). And yes, I had several large clumps that people used to admire because of their colour and of which I used to skite about and lecture people about growing beautiful native grasses. *Blush*

Later, it was hard work knocking it back. A loosing battle though - the next door allotment is just full of it and it continually reseeds. Oh, the perils of drink.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
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SongofJoy
Feb 27, 2014 3:57 AM CST
Well, we all have a learning curve, don't we. I'm afraid I've planted a few invasive plants in my day and speaking of grasses, golden bamboo was one of them. Once it takes hold, it's almost impossible to eradicate. Especially when the neighbors don't edge the fence line on their side.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
central Illinois
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jmorth
Mar 1, 2014 11:12 PM CST
I think I had some unintentional Panic Grass growing in a container last year.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - Mar 1, 2014 11:13 PM (+)]
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Name: Treehugger
Hanover Twp, PA (Zone 6a)
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treehugger
Mar 19, 2014 5:59 AM CST
I love native grass. It doesn't need any fertilizer, extra water and my Carex will grow in full, dry shade (just not as well). It is the first thing to green up as the weather breaks. I love the way it grows in clumps and it is easy to move around. My Miscanthus is dangerous. Where I lived before I didn't divide it so after 5 years it was a great home for the voles all winter. They loved the center where it had died out with fluffy dried grass for warmth and fresh roots right next to their home to eat all winter. They didn't kill it so when I moved I have my calendar marked for 2015 to make sure I divide it before I start a new large family of voles. My native grasses never seemed to have the same problem as the Asian Miscanthus. I grow Muehenbeckia capillaris, Schizachyrium scoparium, several native Carex a few I can't remember their names.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Mar 19, 2014 6:16 AM CST
Good information, treehugger. Another positive point for natives! Yay! Hurray!
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller

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