Ornamental grasses can increase the visual interest of a landscape, and given the abundance of options available, they can fit virtually any type of environment. Ornamental grass has been growing in popularity in recent years, due to the fact that they are easily available, eco-friendly, and they can be low maintenance.
Looking at the number of options on the market, it might seem intimidating to choose one, due to the fact that there are a number of factors that play a role in the success of the ornamental grass. This is why learning about which grass respond well to which soil and temperature can pay off in improving the landscape – thus maximizing your investment.
Which Grass Is The “Right” Type?
Besides taking into consideration the soil condition and the amount of light the ornamental grass will be exposed to, taste factors into picking the right type. You will have to ask yourself whether or not you plan on leaving the grass standing through the winter, and how much height you’re looking to get out of it.
Some people prefer tall ornamental grass that spills over, while others prefer the type that stands straight – this is an important factor as well. Moreover, tall ornamental grass can be used for privacy as well.
Types of Ornamental Grass
1. Cool Season – This type will be able to start growing in the spring, and there is a chance they might stay somewhat green through the winter. They have better foliage quality during cool temperatures or if they have enough water during droughts. They might require more lawn maintenance in order to keep them healthy, because their foliage goes brown during drought periods if they are not watered. This category includes:
- Tufted Hair Grass
- Autumn Moon Grass
- Blue Oat Grass
2. Warm Season – This type requires less maintenance and stays healthy in warm temperature, even if the moisture is limited. They start growing when the soil is warm and weather is stable. Popular choices in this category includes:
- Japanese Silver-Grass
- Prairie Cord Grass
- Northern Sea Oats
- Perennial Fountain Grass
Growing Ornamental Grass
Learning when and where to plant the type of ornamental grass you bought is important in order to ensure its success in enhancing the landscape. Annual grasses are expected to last only one growing season, which means that the ideal time to plant them is in spring. Meanwhile, grasses such as the Perennial Fountain Grass will come back every year, and should be planted either in spring or fall.
When thinking about where to plant it, water and sunlight are factors that should be taken into consideration. Certain types prefer shady areas (or partially sunny), but most of them will do well being exposed to sunlight. The grass should be planted at a similar depth as they were in the pot, and should be spaced out in accordance to what their size will be when they’re fully grown.
Maintaining Ornamental Grass
While generally you won’t have to bend over backwards when it comes to maintenance, lawn care is important, and ornamental grass still requires attention in terms of weed control, fertilization, and of course watering.
When it comes to lawn management, watering is especially important during their first growing season, due to the fact that you want to help them establish solid roots. After the initial season they generally require water only during drought periods – but keep in mind that those requirements might vary on the type of grass.
A layer of mulch could help with weed control, and could also be helpful when it comes to preventing unwanted reseeding. Slow release fertilizer should be applied in the spring, and if the nitrogen level is kept somewhat low, this can keep the grass from flopping over.
Author Bio : Sarah Works for YourGreenpal and she loves writing on Lawn and Garden related blogs.