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Aug 172012
Purchasing Plants

ornamental grassesBuying established plants is the most common, and probably the best, method of obtaining ornamental grasses. When choosing transplants, it is best to buy from a nursery or garden store staffed with personnel knowledgeable about local growing conditions. This will assure availability of adapted species and varieties. Seek plants with good dark green color, healthy root systems, and no sign of disease or pest problems. Try to find plants that have been hardened off, in order to ease the transition to your yard.

Most ornamental grasses can be transplanted anytime in the spring after soil is dry enough to work. It is best to transplant on a cool, cloudy day with little wind. This will allow acclimation under conditions of limited water loss. After removing a plant from its container, tease roots away from the surface of the root ball. Don’t plant the seedlings too deep. Bury the root ball in a hole sufficiently deep only to bring the soil slightly above the pot soil level. Space the plants according to the instructions on the seed packet or nursery pot label. For the first 7-10 days, water the plants frequently and lightly. For the first few days, the root ball contains all of the roots and is the only source of water. The root ball will need to be wetted as often as it would in the pot until the roots can become established in the surrounding soil.

Dividing Plants

New ornamental grass plants can be obtained by dividing the crown on existing plants. This can be done by digging up the plant, dividing into pieces, then replanting each one, or by using a sharp spade to cut a portion from a plant left in place, then replanting the removed segment. This latter method minimizes disturbance of the original plant.

 August 17, 2012