Best 3 Grasses for Creating a Prairie-inspired Garden

EEdgar October 2, 2023 7:11 AM

A prairie-inspired garden, a lovely blend of grasses and wildflowers, can be a unique and beautiful addition to your landscaping. Here, we're going to talk about the best 3 grasses suitable for creating a prairie-inspired garden.

Choosing the Right Grass for Your Prairie Garden

Creating a prairie garden requires careful selection of grasses. This is because the grasses chosen will be the backbone of the garden, providing structure and texture. The chosen grasses should be hardy, able to withstand a variety of weather conditions, and should complement the other plants chosen for the garden.

Here are the best 3 grasses for a prairie-inspired garden:

  1. Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)
  2. Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)
  3. Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Let's take a deeper dive into these grasses and understand why they are suitable for a prairie garden.

Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum)

Switchgrass is a perennial, warm-season grass that is native to the prairies of North America. It is a hardy and versatile grass, making it an excellent choice for a prairie garden. It grows up to 4-6 feet in height, adding a strong vertical element to your garden. The grass turns a vibrant gold in the fall, adding a splash of color to your garden during the colder months.

Benefits of Switchgrass:

  • Hardy and versatile
  • Provides a strong vertical design element
  • Turns vibrant gold in the fall

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

Big Bluestem, also known as 'Turkey Foot,' is another native prairie grass that is ideal for a prairie garden. This grass grows to be quite tall, reaching heights of 4-8 feet. It has a unique blue-green color in the summer, turning to a copper color in the fall. This grass attracts a variety of wildlife, bringing a sense of nature and biodiversity to your garden.

Benefits of Big Bluestem:

  • Grows tall, adding height to your garden
  • Unique blue-green color in summer
  • Attracts a variety of wildlife

Indian Grass (Sorghastrum nutans)

Indian Grass is a warm-season grass that is popular due to its adaptability and hardiness. It grows up to 6 feet tall and is a stunning golden color in the fall. This grass is drought-tolerant and perfect for those looking to create a low-maintenance garden.

Benefits of Indian Grass:

  • Adaptable and hardy
  • Drought-tolerant
  • Low maintenance

Prairie-inspired Garden Design Ideas

Creating a prairie-inspired garden involves more than just choosing the right grasses. For a truly authentic prairie design, consider the following tips:

  • Mix grasses with wildflowers for a vibrant and diverse garden.
  • Group plants together for a natural look.
  • Incorporate paths so you can walk through your garden and fully enjoy the beauty.
  • Use taller grasses and flowers at the back of your layout, with shorter plants at the front, for a tiered effect.
  • Choose a variety of plants that bloom at different times to ensure your garden is colorful throughout the year.

Creating a prairie-inspired garden is a lovely way to bring the essence of the wild into your backyard. With these grasses and design tips, you can create a beautiful, year-round garden that is both visually stunning and environmentally friendly.

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