Used for pastures, lawns, landscaping and more, grass is a valuable plant that serves many functions. Found throughout the world, there is a species of grass that will tolerate and thrive in almost any condition, whether a gardener is planting in poor, disturbed soils or rich acidic ones.
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum), also called prairie switchgrass, is a deep-rooted perennial clumping grass that grows freely throughout Midwestern prairies. The grass is distinguished by its flat blades, which range in color from green to a reddish brown. Switchgrass grows in both sun and partial shade, preferring light, sandy loams. The grass usually won't grow well in heavy or clay soils, although it can handle some acidity.
Native to southern Canada and the central and southern United States, big bluestem (Andropogon gerardii), also known as turkey-foot bluestem, is a tall-growing perennial grass that can occasionally reach heights of more than 10 feet. The grass is popular for its blue-green foliage, which gradually gains a reddish tinge as the plant matures. The hardy grass can be grown in many conditions, although bluestem should always be grown in full sun. Soil can be acidic or alkaline, light and sandy, or poorly drained clay.
Native to temperate regions of Southern Australia, wallaby grass is a hardy grass that produces lovely, fluffy white seed heads. The grass can be used in lawns, for cattle grazing and to cover unsightly roadsides. The grass is highly tolerant of frost, heat and sunlight, and the grass will also grow in acidic soils. The ideal soil for sun-loving wallaby grass is a medium clay or sandy loam. It's essential that the soil be at least moderately well-drained.