How to Grow Slender Wheatgrass


Slender wheatgrass is highly nutritious and provides not only grazing for livestock, seeds for birds and small mammals, but also shelter for small animals. Slender wheatgrass is also used as a ground cover and to control erosion. When used in seed mixes, quick-growing slender wheatgrass allows time for other varieties to mature. To keep a healthy field of slender wheatgrass growing longer than the three- to five-year expectancy, make sure it produces seeds every other year that are allowed to germinate.

Step 1

Plan your seed planting based on the annual rainfall for your area. Regions with less than 16 inches of rain a year should have dormant fall planting, while areas receiving more than 16 inches can be planted in early spring or late fall.

Step 2

Prepare your meadow, field or yard by plowing the soil or using a tiller for smaller areas. Slender wheatgrass tends to perform better in loam to clay soils, which hold moisture and drain well so air can reach the roots. A good loam soil appears light, clumps when squeezed together and falls back apart when let go.

Step 3

Set up an irrigation system if your area is light on rainfall. Slender wheatgrass will perform in some dry areas, but is not as drought tolerant as other wheatgrass varieties. An irrigated field can be planted in early spring or late fall.

Step 4

Plant your seeds with a seed drill anywhere from 1/4 to 3/4 inches deep. You'll need about 6 pounds of seed per acre to solely plant slender wheatgrass, but use only 1 or 2 pounds if you are using it as a filler in a mixed blend with long-term varieties.

Step 5

Spray or mist the seedbed daily to maintain a moist field while you wait for the seeds to germinate and begin to show growth. Slender wheatgrass takes eight to 10 days to germinate; try to maintain moist soil for the first four weeks, or longer if rainfall is down in your area.

Tips and Warnings

  • Don't overwater your field thinking you are helping the seeds. Soil that is saturated rather than moistened can dry out and trap the seeds inside, rather than letting them grow through.

Things You'll Need

  • Plow
  • Irrigation system, optional
  • Slender wheatgrass seeds
  • Seed drill
  • Water


  • Forages; Robert F. Barnes, C. Jerry Nelson, Kenneth J. Moore, Michael Collins; 2007
  • USDA Plant guide
Keywords: wheatgrass, slender 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.