How to Grow Bulbous Canarygrass

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Bulbous canarygrass is a perennial that grows mostly in fall, spring and winter, and has yellow flowers. The grass is used for foraging animals, and to help establish grass. The grass can be used for grazing but has been known to be fatal when ingested by sheep and cattle. Bulbous canarygrass can grow in regions that have sandy clay and little rainfall but there must be a clay layer that holds water. In areas that get a lot of rainfall, the clay layer becomes less important.

Step 1

Plant your bulbous canarygrass in a location that receives a lot of sun. The grass prefers warmer temperatures and can die out when there is a threat of frost. You can use a layer of mulch to protect your canarygrass in areas that receive cooler weather. Plant canarygrass at a depth of 1/4 to 1/2 inches. Seeding can be done by drilling or by raking the seed into the soil. Drilling is the preferred method because it packs the seed in. The ground should be moist at planting time. This will help establish the seedlings.

Step 2

Water your canarygrass every 2 to 3 weeks with a small amount of water. The soil can get dry before re-watering but the grass will be healthier and grow larger with rainfall or watering. Canarygrass can dominate water in the ground when it is planted alongside other plants, so other grasses may require more watering in the presence of canarygrass.

Step 3

Mow the grass down to a height of 3 to 4 inches when there is a presence of weeds. This will help control the weeds but will encourage new growth in the bulbous canarygrass. Try to retain as much of the leaf of the grass as possible. If you cut the grass too short, it will stunt the growth and you will end up with patchy grass.

Step 4

Apply fertilizer after the first year and every year after. Use a 16-20-0 fertilizer, or an ammonium-phosphate-sulfate mix. Apply 200 pounds per acre in the fall. Bulbous canarygrass also responds well to a manure mulch. The nitrogen in the mulch will encourage growth and spreading.

Step 5

Allow grazing only after the establishment period of 1 year. At this point, the grass will be at a height of 6 to 8 inches. Allow the grass to be grazed to a minimum of 3 to 4 inches. Grazing will usually take place from January to late February.

Things You'll Need

  • Bulbous canarygrass seed
  • Soil
  • Fertilizer


  • United States Department of Agriculture
  • Bulbous canarygrass
  • Growing bulbous canarygrass
Keywords: bulbous canarygrass, caring for canarygrass, planting canarygrass

About this Author

Melody Dawn has been writing since 2004. Her work has appeared in the "Gainesville Times," "Player's Press" and USA Today. Her writing focuses on gardening, home improvement, travel, sports, business, parenting and education. Dawn holds a Master of Business and is working on a Master of Journalism.

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