How to Grow Caucasian Bluestem

Bluestem grasses image by Drew Avery: Flickr.com

Overview

Caucasian bluestem is a perennial grass that was first grown in Russia. Once it was brought to the United States, it became a popular grass in Missouri. It grows best in warm growing conditions, with temperatures between 90 and 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer. Caucasian bluestem grows wild, and because it is so easy to grow, it can be used as a ground cover in areas that cannot grow more traditional grasses. Caucasian bluestem is very hardy, so it is used as a grazing grass for livestock.

Step 1

Remove all weeds from the seedbed area. To prepare the seedbed, rake the area 3 to 4 inches down, removing all rocks, weeds and other soil impurities.

Step 2

Blend caucasian bluestem seeds with sand or fertilizer. Caucasian bluestem seeds are very light and fluffy, so you should mix them with one part sand, or one part P and K fertilizer, which contains potassium and phosphorus, before planting. Mix for at least 30 minutes before planting.

Step 3

Plant caucasian bluestem seeds at the end of April to the beginning of May. Because the seeds are so lightweight, plant them with a no-till seed drill, which you can rent from your local gardening store. Plant the seeds 1/4-inch into the ground, then cover the seed lightly with another 1/4-inch of soil. Plant two pounds of seed per acre of land.

Step 4

Remove weeds from the caucasian bluestem seed bed at least once a week. Caucasian bluestem grows slowly its first year, and will not compete well with weeds.

Step 5

Leave caucasian bluestem grass alone as it grows. Little to no maintenance is required, though it should not be fertilized during the first year of growth. Caucasian bluestem grass can tolerate warm weather and does not need to be watered except in drought conditions.

Step 6

Allow animals to graze on caucasian bluestem after one year of growth, if desired. If caucasian bluestem is not being used for grazing, it can be mowed at least once a year to promote healthy growth.

Things You'll Need

  • Rake
  • Caucasian bluestem seeds
  • Sand
  • P and K fertilizer
  • No-till seed drill

References

  • University of Missouri Extension: Caucasian Bluestem
  • United States Department of Agriculture: Caucasian Bluestem

Who Can Help

  • Virginia Cooperative Extension: Establishing and Managing Caucasian Bluestem
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About this Author

Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.

Photo by: Drew Avery: Flickr.com