Sow Ornamental Grasses From Seed

Very fashionable and extremely versatile, annual grasses are easy to grow from seed, and can be used in wild, meadow-style plantings, as well as container designs.

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Quaking GrassEnlarge Photo+Shrink Photo-DK - How to Grow Practically Everything © 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

When to Start: Early spring
At Their Best: Summer to autumn
Time to Complete: 30 minutes to sow; 1 hour to plant

Materials Needed:

  • modular seed trays
  • seed soil
  • vermiculite
  • watering can
  • small plastic pots
  • multi-purpose potting soil
  • seed suggestions: foxtail millet (Setaria italica); hare's tail (Lagurus ovatus); quaking grass (Briza maxima); Sorghum nigrum

Fill Modules and Sow Seeds

Fill a modular seed tray with potting soil to within 1/4 inch of the top. Tap the tray to settle the soil, top up if necessary, and sow about three or four seeds per cell on the surface. Each module will then produce a small clump of grass.

Cover Seedlings

Sprinkle a thin layer of vermiculite over the seeds to keep the surface moist, while also allowing light through to aid germination. Water the tray, using a can fitted with a fine rose (perforated nozzle). The seeds will take up to three weeks to germinate, depending on the type of grass.

Keep Seed Trays Shaded

Keep the newly sown seed trays in a semi-shaded spot and don't allow them to dry out. When the seedlings appear, move the trays into the sun. Once they have several strong leaves, pot them up and set them outside. You can collect seed from your ornamental grasses in late summer to sow the following spring.

Excerpted from How to Grow Practically Everything

© 2010 Dorling Kindersley Limited

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