How to Grow Intermediate Wheatgrass


Intermediate wheatgrass can help control erosion, provide nesting and cover for game and migrating birds, and provide pasture grazing for livestock in the spring, early summer and fall. Performing best in areas where the land receives at least 12 to 13 inches of rain, intermediate wheatgrass is mostly found in western portions of North America. With the right care to ensure that seeds germinate, seedlings mature and stands establish, you can grow intermediate wheatgrass with very little maintenance for years to follow.

Step 1

Prepare a site for your seedbed, preferably in clay or loam soils by tilling or plowing. Based on the size of your field, purchase 10 to 12 pounds of seed per acre to fully cover the area.

Step 2

Plant fields according to your type of soil and the growing season. Heavy and medium textured soils should be planted in very early spring. Lighter soils perform when planted in the late fall. If you have an irrigation system you can seed from spring to summer.

Step 3

Use a seed drill to plant seeds at a depth of ½-inch or less in any medium-to-fine soils. If your soil texture is coarser, use a depth of 1-inch or less for planting your seeds.

Step 4

Moisten the soil daily around the seeds without soaking it for the first three to four weeks. The seeds should remain damp to encourage germination, but too much water can lock the seeds underground and block them from growing through to the surface.

Step 5

Wait for the plants to become established before letting livestock graze the grasses or they may end up getting uprooted. Be careful with grazing, however, because intermediate wheatgrass cannot handle heavy grazing on a regular basis.

Step 6

Check after each grazing, as well as before winter, that 6 inches of growth remains. This stubble height will ensure that the plants have enough live growth to continue growing rather than die.

Step 7

Fertilize as needed to add nitrogen and encourage growth. Good nitrogen fertilizers such as urea, ammonium or manure can be applied once in spring and fall after a grazing or mowing.

Things You'll Need

  • Tiller or plow
  • Seed drill
  • Intermediate wheatgrass seeds
  • Fertilizer


  • USDA Fact Sheet
  • Forages; Robert F. Barnes, C. Jerry Nelson, Kenneth J. Moore, Michael Collins; 2007
Keywords: wheatgrass, intermediate wheatgrass, growing wheatgrass

About this Author

Writing from Virginia, Margaret Telsch-Williams specializes in personal finance, money management, gardening, crafts and sewing, cooking, DIY projects and travel. When not writing instructional articles online, she works for the website Widescreen Warrior as a contributor and podcast co-host discussing all things film and entertainment. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and a master's degree in writing.