Preparing for New Growth

By oakridge
May 2nd 2022

With the weather we’ve had this spring, it’s hard to believe that soon our landscapes will be filled with lush, beautiful plants. Until those warm days come, we can help get our gardens ready by going through and cutting back perennials we left from the previous season. 

A plant variety that would really benefit from a trim this spring includes perennial grasses.
We often leave our grasses tall for some winter interest with their seedheads, but as the new season approaches, it is time to give them the chop (cutting back to about two inches or so). Discard the dead foliage and wait for the new growth to start making an appearance.
You may notice that your neighbors grass has already started to pop up, while yours appears to have not made it through the winter. Don’t panic quite yet; not all grasses are the same!

Cool Season Vs. Warm Season Grasses

Cool season grasses will give you immediate impact and volume in the spring as they begin growing earlier in the spring when temperatures are cooler and rain is more consistent. These grasses run the risk of turning brown during the heat of the summer and will typically go dormant when the temperatures rise.

  • Cool Season Grasses We Carry: 
    • Karl Foerster Grass
    • Lightning Strike Grass
    • Korean Feather Reed Grass
    • Blue Whiskers Fescue

Warm season grasses do not begin to show growth until later in the spring when the weather becomes more stable and the soil temperatures warm. These grasses will stay low during the cool part of the summer and will only reach their full height during the heat of the summer. During the warmest part of the summer, when temperatures are high and moisture is limited, warm season grasses will continue to maintain their appearance. Warm season grasses tend to focus their energy towards root development for the first two years, then shift their energy to focus on visible growth from the second year on. 

  • Warm Season Grasses We Carry: 
    • Panicum: Blue Fountain
    • Miscanthus: Flame grass, Oktoberfest, Huron Sunrise, Little Miss, Variegatus, and Giganteus
    • Big Bluestem: Blackhawks and Holy Smoke
    • Little Bluestem: Blue Heaven
    • Carex

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