Autumn Moor Grass - Sesleria autumnalis

marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)September 30, 2010

Hello, I want to raise Autumn Moor Grass (Sesleria autumnalis) from seed. I will need about 20 or 30 plants for a new bed next year and was hoping I could grow them myself. I have access to seed, I think (a large planting near my work, thanks to the City Parks department of Indianapolis) but I have never grown grasses from seed before (shame). I am pretty good at raising most other things from seeds, so I figured it can't be too hard to do this with grass (usually the famous last words in my world!!!). With that in mind, when do I know the seeds are ready to be harvested from the grass? Right now the seed heads are mostly still green, and I remember from last year that they turn a dark chocolate brown (I think...). I figured that would be my clue to harvest them. After that, store the seeds dry and cool and sow them in regular seed mix next spring. Does anybody know when Sesleria seed is ready to be harvested? Any suggestions for improving my success with the seed next spring? Thanks in advance from a grass-seed-harvesting-and-growing-challenged gardener...:-)

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I've never grown this one, from seed or from plant, but there are a couple of tried and true general rules for knowing when to harvest ornamental grass seed.

The most foolproof way to tell is to take a brown paper grocery bag out, bend a seed head or three over so they are inside the bag, and shake them. If the seeds/carriers fall off into the bag, they are ready.

The other way to tell is when the stalk immediately under the seed head has turned brown.

To determine if a type of grass can be grown from seed, I usually check Jelitto first. They are the premier seed house in the world, and usually, if the grass can be grown successfully from seed, they will have the seeds.

They list 6 Sesleria seeds, but not autumnalis.

I'd suggest you try winter sowing some of the seed. If you are unfamiliar with the process, check out the Winter Sowing Forum.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2010 at 6:03AM
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marcindy(z5b, Indianapolis, IN)

Donn, thanks for the advice. I had planned to sow some seeds now to let winter work its magic and also sow some of the seeds in spring. I'll be curious to see what happens. Thanks again for your response.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2010 at 6:53PM
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