Big Squirelltail Grass
image by JimConrad/backyardnature
If you live in the western regions of the United States, growing big squirreltail grass won't be that hard. It is a native species to this region and can commonly be found growing from the desert to alpine areas. As you can probably guess, big squirreltail grass receives its name due to the upper sections looking like a fluffed out squirrel tail. Big squirreltail grass is considered a cool season grass that grows in bunches. This grass is highly adaptable to many ecological and topographical growing conditions.
Select an area to sow your big squirreltail seeds or plants that is free of competition from other grass species or shrubs. It will not do well if it has to compete for growing space with other grasses or plants.
Choose an area to plant your squirreltail grass that is either in full sun or receives sunlight and partial shade. They are tolerant to a wide range of light conditions.
Plant your squirreltail grass in soil that is medium to fine textured. It will also grow in soil that is coarsely textured but will do best growing in finer soil mediums that drain well. Amending your soil with organic matter is not required, but will help the plant grow better.
Plant big squirreltail seeds into the soil at a depth of ½ inch in the fall, for best results. You can also sow the seed in the spring, but your growing results might not be as good as when the seed is sowed during the dormant season.
Water your seeds or plants regularly to keep the soil moist while the plants are establishing themselves. Continue watering the big squirreltail grass several times per week during the growing season.
Fertilize the plants in September with a nitrogen/phosphorus blend. This will help the plants maintain a healthy growth pattern and encourage it to bloom.