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Newbie looking for direction....

Posted by monipsych Zone 6 ( on
Sun, Feb 5, 06 at 20:02

Looked at a few of the old posts...and plan to get the book that was recommended from the library. Can I have some direction for some easy grasses to try to WS for both behind a little pond and with my perennials? I'd like a litte height behind the pond but am open to suggestions. I think ease of growing(I.E. WS) and readily available seeds are a big priority. OG is something that I want to strive to continue learning about so I hope the forum survives.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 6, 06 at 7:15

Hi's a list of grasses and sedges I've successfully winter sown:

Cool Season Grasses

Blue Moor Grass (Sesleria caerulea)
Mexican Feather Grass (Nassella tenuissima)
Feather Grass (Stipa capillata)
Snowy Woodrush (Luzula nivea)
Greater Woodrush (Luzula sylvatica)
Blue Fescue (Festuca glauca)
Maire's Fescue (Festuca mairei)
Bearskin Fescue (Festuca scoparia, syn. Festuca gautieri)
Giant Fescue (Festuca gigantea
Quaking Grass (Briza media)
Annual Quaking Grass (Briza maxima)
Tufted Hairgrass (Deschampsia cespitosa)
Sweet Vernal Grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum)
Bottlebrush Grass (Hystrix patula)

Warm season Grasses

Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium)
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides)
Black Seeded Fountain Grass (Pennisetum alopecuroides 'Moudry')
Maiden Grass (Miscanthus sinensis 'New Hybrids')
Switch Grass (Panicum virgatum)
Purple Love Grass (Eragrostis spectabilis)
Bunny Tails - Annual (Lagurus ovatus)
Giant Foxtail - Annual (Setaria faberi)
Pruple Top - Annual (Tridens flavus)
Pampas Grass (Cortaderia selloana)

Sedge (Carex)

Palm Sedge (Carex muskingumensis)
Gray's Sedge (Carex grayi)

The best source I've found for seed is JElitto, in Germany, linked below. They have 170 listings for grasses and sedges.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jelitto


  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 6, 06 at 7:24

Purple Top (Tridens flavus) is a perennial, not an annual.

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

Is this a wetter area, since it's near a pond? If so, then River oats, Chasmanthium latifolium, might be a good choice. It is upright with a texture and leaves suggestive of bamboo. Switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, will also grow well in wetter areas; lots of nice varieties available. Another good choice is Carex alata, Bowle's Golden Sedge, with bright yellow foliage.

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

TY all...
Donn What is the difference between warm season and cool season grasses? TY for the suggestion for seeds.
Anyone else order seeds from another place for OG

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

  • Posted by donn_ 7a, GSB, LI, NY (My Page) on
    Mon, Feb 6, 06 at 14:04

Monica...those are their seasons of growth. Cool season grasses most actively grow in spring and fall, and warm season grasses do it in summer. I see I forgot to categorize the two Carex varieties I listed...they're both cool season.

Parks also carries a few varieties of seed, as do OutsidePride and PrairieFrontier.

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

TY agian for all the info...and great suggestions. I particularly liked Prairie Frontiers site. I'll keep you posted. I'm thinking of 1-2 to try to WS for behind our pond.

RE: Newbie looking for direction....

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Fri, Feb 10, 06 at 22:17

donn - you the grass guy !!!

Wish I would take the time to grow grasses from seed but then again everyone gets what they pay for.

Giving Monica a list of grass families was a good way to make her get educated by looking up what each family has in the cellar.

I agree with most all of the suggestions but as a grass grower I will not deviate from what you have offered ( 'cuz it was damn good) but only offer that zones, climates (are they really that much different) location, moisture, sun and general plant healthiness (is that a real word) can influence the vitality of grasses.

All the above will make or break any plant including ornamental grasses for your personal and garden enjoyment.

Monica, do the research and read a bunch. I can only suggest that you by a few grasses already potted, plant them and watch 'em grow.

From that point (two maybe three yrs) forward decide if you want to grow from seed or buy more already potted and growing.

Ornamental grasses - a man's perennial. Plant 'em, grab a refreshment, grab a chair and watch 'em grow. Spring time, cut 'em back, grab a freshm'nt, chair an' watch 'em grow.

But always remember even mans best counterpart (women, ladies, girlfriends and others) can enjoy ornamental grasses just like the men do.


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