Tall Grass in August
It’s been a hot summer with plenty of rain. The ornamental grasses in our garden remain an almost luminous green, and most seem taller than usual.
Northern Sea Oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) is really more a grass of savannas and woodlands, rather than a prairie grass.
However, it thrives in the sunny Sidewalk Border.
One of the best grasses for catching the late afternoon sun, in my opinion.
‘Northwind’ Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is most certainly a prairie grass. This year it is over 6 feet tall.
The Switchgrass has required some assistance to keep it from flopping after the last round of heavy rain. I sometimes think I should have planted one of the shorter cultivars, one that would be easier to manage and not so dominating. But oh, those airy plumes in late summer!
In the Lamppost Bed, my patch of Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium) has a serious case of the flopsies. Rich soil and too much moisture, I suspect, are the culprits.
I planted the straight species and two varieties: ‘Jazz’ and ‘Carousel’. Of these, ‘Jazz’ has proven to be the least floppy. I like the blue color, which is supposed to turn purple in fall.
I like the striped appearance of ‘Carousel’, but this cultivar is simply too lax in its present home. It is almost as floppy as the straight species.
A single ‘Shenandoah’ Switchgrass grows at the rear of the Little Bluestem patch. It is short for a Panicum and thoroughly upright. The blades of grass are starting to turn red.
I’m thinking I will replace ‘Carousel’ and the straight species Little Bluestem. I don’t want to throw them on the compost, so I’m going to relocate then outside the alley fence. Their places in the Lamppost Garden will be taken by ‘Shenandoah’.
Have you tried growing Switchgrass or Little Bluestem?