How to Grow Sand Bluestem

Tall Warm Season Grass image by priyahegde:sxc.hu

Overview

Sand bluestem (Andropogon hallii) is a warm season bunchgrass that is typically used in conservation practices such as barriers, trails and pastures. It is also used to stabilize sandy soil and aid in lessening soil erosion. It mainly is seen in the western part of the United States, in the Great Plains region. Sand bluestem is a good forage grass for wildlife and small mammals. With the xeriscaping trend it is a popular lawn border as well.

Step 1

Start planting sand bluestem seed in the spring, in sandy soil and in a full sun area of the landscape. It makes for good property borders, with a billowy look and feel.

Step 2

Buy sand bluestem seed commercially and open the bag just before you are ready to seed the landscape you want the grass to be in.

Step 3

If using a seed spreader (either a push cart variety or a hand crank variety) to spread the seed, spread evenly over the area that you will want to have grass using 6 pounds Sand bluestem seed per acre.

Step 4

If using a specifically designed native seed drill to plant the seeds, drill the soil as according to the directions.

Step 5

Plant seed shallow, barely in the soil with a good top cover for wind resistance and protection. Good top covers can include a small amount of hay.

Step 6

Water slightly, just dampening the soil using a garden hose with nozzle. Normal rainfall should be enough to sustain the seed until germination.

Step 7

Seeds will germinate in the fall and full size grass at maturity can reach six feet in height. They have yellow tufts of color around June for an interesting effect in the landscape. Sand bluestem is a very nice choice for backdrops, borders, or to scatter in fields that are used for hay harvesting.

Things You'll Need

  • Sand bluestem seed
  • Seed spreader or native seed drill
  • Hay
  • Garden hose with nozzle

References

  • Sand Bluestem Fact Sheet
  • Wildflower.org

Who Can Help

  • US Department of Agriculture
Keywords: sand bluestem, warm season grasses, bluestem planting

About this Author

T.M. Samuels has been a freelance writer since 1993. She has published works in "Arthritis Today," "Alabama Living" and "Mature Years," and is the author of a gardening book. Samuels studied pre-medicine at Berry College.

Photo by: priyahegde:sxc.hu