Sometimes we devote too little time to our garden. Especially extensive areas need a special touch to give them a bit of character. One way of adding interest to your garden is to grow tall ornamental grass. How do I care for it?
What are tall ornamental grasses?
This is a group of plants with a wide range of uses in the garden. It can be used to create a natural character, complement plant compositions, or create functional garden elements such as a hedge. With tall ornamental grasses you can achieve a natural effect at a low cost and effort.
Using tall ornamental grasses in the garden
Tall grasses are great for lawns, fences, walls, flower beds and ponds. They are also planted individually as subtle decorations. That’s not all, because tall ornamental grasses can be used to create hedges that will replace standard fences. They are perfect for English gardens, but thanks to their regular form, also for modernistic garden visions.
Species of tall ornamental grasses differ from each other in their requirements. This is worth bearing in mind, because even the most beautiful species will not show its full charm if it is not cultivated properly. Some grasses prefer moist conditions and are ideal for ponds, while others will do well in dry or even sandy soil (e.g. sand blower), in sun or shade. Perennial tall grasses are the least demanding. They can also make your garden beautiful in winter
These plants are chosen for their aesthetic qualities, such as the type of flowering, leaf color, height reached, width. Before buying it is necessary to take a look at their requirements and to what specific place they will suit us, because in inappropriate conditions they will get discolored, bloom and bush worse. We should pay attention to the position (e.g. sunny, shaded), soil (e.g. sandy, moist) or frost resistance. Below we present two most known varieties and their requirements.
Reed canary grass
This grass is probably the most popular choice for gardens. It can grow in sunny places (then it needs regular watering) or in shade, but on moist soil (it’s best to plant it somewhere near water, e.g. by ponds). The leaves of smaller specimens are emerald green and in autumn they turn yellow, orange and brown, which creates a wonderful effect in the garden. It also blooms in July with small beige flowers gathered in long panicles (about 20 cm). It is frost resistant.
Dwarf variety with narrow dark green leaves with transverse stripes of creamy white color. It blooms from September to October and it is quite charming. At first the loose panicles are reddish brown, but by the end of flowering they turn gray-beige. It likes sunny and dry positions and grows well in fertile and permeable soils
Planting and pruning
They are best planted in the fall or spring time frame. Hardy varieties are planted in early fall. Low and medium varieties can also be planted in pots, e.g. on terraces and balconies. Grasses should be cut in autumn or spring, but be careful because cutting in autumn slightly reduces the frost resistance of grasses. They are usually pruned by a few centimeters, carefully so as not to damage the delicate structures.
>> See also: Artificial grass for balcony. Choosing the green carpet
Most grasses are watered at the stage of growth (seedlings) and during droughts, be careful not to wet the aboveground parts of the plants (this can cause mycosis). Some species do not require watering at all. Water them in the morning or evening. To strengthen the plants it is good to fertilize them (preferably with an organic fertilizer). If you want the grass to grow fast, you should feed it with nitrogen in spring, and then with phosphorus and potassium fertilizers or compound fertilizers. Regular weeding and removal of pests is also important for their proper growth. The optimal time for transplanting ornamental grasses is early spring.
Tall ornamental grasses in your garden
Growing tall ornamental grasses is one way to achieve a beautiful garden with a natural look. They are low-maintenance and easy to cultivate and care for, but it is advisable to look at their requirements before planting.