Japanese tatami mats are woven from soft rush.
image by mikiyo yamanaka: sxc.hu
Soft rush, also known as common rush, is a water-loving perennial. Rush is often considered invasive in the wild, as it quickly overtakes stream and river banks once introduced. For the home garden, soft rush does well along pond and water feature banks where plenty of moisture is present in the soil. Avoid planting it along streams or creeks that run through your property, as it may spread to neighboring areas beyond your control. Plant rushes from plugs or seedlings in late fall so they have healthy, developed root systems by spring.
Choose an area near a pond or in extremely moist soil to plant your rush. Clear out neighboring vegetation and weeds from the planting area.
Space plugs or seedlings 6 to 8 inches apart. Plant them deep enough so the root is covered and the stalks stand upright on their own.
Trim off 6 to 10 inches from the top of each stem. This encourages healthy root growth and helps the rush become established.
Water thoroughly and regularly during the summer. Keep the soil wet at all times. Standing water is acceptable as long as the water level is not above 3 inches.
Fertilize the plants after planting. Fertilize the following spring and again in mid-summer with a general-purpose fertilizer.