Blue Grama grass (Bouteloua gracilis) is a perennial clumping grass native to the Great Plains. It has grayish-green, fine curling leaf blades that grow 2 to 5 inches tall. Blue Grama grass grows in the summer and is dormant in the winter. Use Blue Grama grass to create a grassy meadow in a weedy area or to replace an existing lawn. It grows in a variety of soils: fine, sandy or rocky. Blue Grama grass should be planted in late spring or early summer, once nighttime temperatures reach 60 degrees, according to High Country Gardens. It is slow to establish, but usually fills in fully by the second season.
Spray the planting area with RoundUp or another herbicide that will kill all growing vegetation. Wait a month until the vegetation and roots are dead and desiccated. Use a rototiller to work the dead vegetation into the soil 3 to 4 inches deep.
Alternatively, if you don't want to use herbicide, use a rototiller to turn weeds and existing sod into the soil. Wait about a month and till again. Continue this process until no green vegetation is growing. You may have to repeat the process several times to eradicate all weeds.
Use a sprinkler or a water hose to water the area thoroughly to germinate remaining weed seeds, and remove them using whatever method you prefer (herbicide or mechanical). Wait a month and till dead vegetation under as in Step 1.
Use a bow or straight rake to remove roots, stones and dirt clods from the planting area. Rake the area smooth.
Use a measuring tape to determine the planting area and calculate the amount of seed needed at the rate of 3 to 4 pounds per 1,000 square feet.
Add 1-1/2 to 2 pounds of seed to a bucket half full of moist sand for each 500 square feet area, according to HIgh Country Gardens. Broadcast the seed and sand mixture evenly by hand, which is the recommended method. Repeat until the entire area has been seeded. Use the back of the bow rake to smooth the soil over the seeds.
Water the soil in the planting area to a depth of 4 to 6 inches immediately after planting with a sprinkler or by hand with a hose. Keep the top 1 inch of soil moist by watering every morning and evening until the seeds germinate in seven to 10 days.
Continue watering every day for another seven to 10 days. Reduce watering to every second or third day as the grass grows. Reduce watering to once a week after four weeks of growth.
Things You Will Need
- Round-Up or other herbicide (optional)
- Water hose
- Bow or straight rake
- Measuring tape
- Moist sand
- If the seeds do not germinate in a month, sow more seeds in the planting area. The seed can be sowed until six weeks before the estimated date of the first winter frost.
- Blue Grama Grass is drought tolerant but may need watering every two or three weeks in areas that get less than 8 inches of rain per year. Clay soil requires less water than sandy soil. Check the soil in several places to ensure the area is receiving enough water.
- Blue Grama Grass does not tolerate shade, wet or poorly drained soil, or foot traffic.