Switchgrass Seeds 8085 (Panicum virgatum). Native of Canada. Perennial.
Switchgrass is an important element in any tall prairie grass planting. This warm season bunch forming grass produces attractive conical seed heads which turn a golden brown in fall. At home in almost any soil (except for very wet ones), it serves as an excellent winter and early spring wildlife cover and makes a superb soil stabilizing plant in poor soil sites. The seed is utilized by song and game birds. It is also an important biomass plant. Plants grow on average to 1.5 m (5′) tall. Switchgrass is hardy to Zone 3.
How to Grow
Most native grasses do best when planted in the fall, between Oct. 15th and Nov. 15th. A late fall sowing naturally stratifies any seed that may be dormant. Switchgrass also responds very well to a May-June sowing 6-12 mm (1/4-1/2″) deep. Keep in mind should ideal growing conditions not occur, the seed may go dormant and not germinate until the spring of the following year.
Many native plants will not bloom until the second year of growth when grown from seed. Avoid the use of supplemental fertilizer as this encourages weeds at the expense of the native plants. During the establishment year, native species plantings should be watered when dictated by the weather. The following year’s growth adapts easily to local climate and soil conditions needing only what nature provides. Mow to 20 cm (8″) height at least once through the first year of growth should aggressive weeds threaten to take over the planting and again after the fall frosts have reduced annual foliage. Consider a controlled burn of prairie species where municipal laws permit. The encroachment of woody or non-prairie vegetation is curtailed by fire allowing the prairie community to thrive.