Need locations for native grass plugs

c2g(6)April 3, 2013

I have about 6 trays of native grass plugs that I want to add to two areas in my front yard. For the past two years, I've been planting wildflowers but neglected grasses aside from a half dozen or so switchgrass plantings.

My plugs consist of:
indian grass (2 trays)
little bluestem (2 trays)
purple top (1 tray)
purple love grass (1 tray)
bottlebrush grass (1/2 tray)

Here is the first pic (click to enlarge - looking in the direction of the house is SOUTHEAST):

The green area contains the switchgrass (the large one in the back was miscanthus - just removed). There are new england asters on the front slope that I can thin our or move. The higher point has goldenrod, coneflower, and black eyed susan. I'm trying to convince my neighbor to let me remove the two spirea bushes (and their english ivy) to extend the meadow into their space (I provide plants and labor). I was thinking about putting the bulk of the indian grass in the back, and then adding little bluestem and purpletop as the slopee runs down toward the front of the yard?

The blue area is a rocky slope with aster ericoides "Snow Flurry" that is low growing and doesn't bloom until Oct/Nov. Not sure what to mix in with that.

Next photo:

Blue area is same as first pic - asters. The yellow area is a slope that has coneflower and black eyed susan higher up on the slope with weeds retaining the soil on the bottom. I just pulled up the weeds. I was thinking about planting this area mostly little bluestem and purpletop, with some purple love grass near the bottom.

The red area is dead sod. I was planning on scalping this and experimenting with what I have left. It does get shade later in the day, so guessing bottlebrush might work here. It's about 6" of soil on top of a layer of sand gravel I put in before the sod to help with drainage (everything washed out after I put the flagstone patio in, so the sod held it down).

Any other ideas or holes in my current plan? Any advice appreciated. I plan on planting this weekend when temps finally start to get into the high 50s.

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I think you have a great plan in the works! My only advice would be to keep the indiangrass and switchgrass contained to certain areas. If you add a few to each area you will be overun with it in no time. This isn't a terrible thing in my opinion, since I love both of them, but if you want to keep the other types alive and thriving you should separate them as best you can. I have seen planted prairies of indiangrass and little bluestem that had issues.

Bottlebrush is a great idea for the shady red zone. It takes a little while to establish, but is well worth the wait. Wild rye types also do well in shady areas. I have quite a few growing on a steep shady slope in one of my gardens. They perform well and have a great looking seedhead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Improved Ecosystems

    Bookmark   April 18, 2013 at 10:42AM
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I don't know where you live, but Buffalo Grass might just be the thing for your driveway. It only grows a few inches high. Be aware there are two forms, one for northern and one for southern gardens.

    Bookmark   June 10, 2013 at 9:31AM
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