Barnyard grass, botanically known as Echinochloa crusgalli, is a summer annual commonly found in the United States, Mexico and Canada. These weeds can reach up to 5 feet in height and are usually not grown on purpose, which is why they are usually found among roadsides and in backyards. They spread naturally by seeds or surface runners. Some gardeners, however, deliberately grow barnyard grass because it is very hardy and easy to grow, requires little care and maintenance and spreads to fill a particular area quickly.
Visit your local field or a roadside where this grass grows in abundance. Decide whether you want to grow barnyard grass by seeds or seedlings. If opting for seeds, pluck mature seed heads that are usually deep brown and dry to the touch from stalks. For seedlings, insert a shovel into the ground just under a barnyard grass stalk and pull it upwards to remove it with its roots. Collect several barnyard seeds or seedlings this way in a basket.
Wear gloves and remove rocks, sticks, stones and plant debris from the planting site. Collect these in a wheelbarrow to dispose later. The advantage of this type of grass is that is can grow in any type of soil, including loamy, rocky and sandy ones, so you do not have to amend your existing soil.
Break up to 6 inches of soil surface on the planting site with a rake or shovel. This will aerate the soil and break up large clods into smaller pieces. Due to the hardy nature of this grass, you do not have to add any soil conditioners such as compost or manure.
Crush collected seed heads in your palms to separate the seeds. Sprinkle these over the site by hand, allowing them to fall freely into the loosened soil. Try to work towards an even distribution, but do not worry if you drop many seeds in a particular spot. Rake the area so the seeds go down and ensure good seed-to-soil contact.
Dig a hole as wide and deep as the root ball if you choose to grow barnyard grass by transplant. Carefully lower the barnyard grass plant into the hole, ensuring it is at the same level as the surrounding soil. Make necessary adjustments by adding more soil if the plant is lower than the soil level or removing dirt if it is too high.
Backfill the hole to cover the root ball with soil, and gently tamp the dirt with your hands so it settles in place.
Water the planting site daily, until the soil is evenly moist. Reduce watering schedule to once or twice a week once grass reaches a height of 5 to 6 inches. Your barnyard grass will grow and spread quickly, filling the site with its thick stems.