Zone 6 Lawn Grasses: What Are They?
Lawn grasses are perennials which means they last for many years. Their life span is between 10 and 20 years depending on their species. Most of them grow from seed and will not survive if left unsupervised. So it’s best to keep them well watered during the winter months when they’re dormant. If you don’t have time to water them regularly, then you need to fertilize them with organic matter every six weeks.
Some of the most common species used for lawns are: Bermuda, Fescue, Hemlock, Hollyhock, Kentucky Bluegrass and Red Clover. There are other species like Dwarf Oats Grass or Wild Rye Grass that may look similar but they won’t produce flowers and will never become turf grasses.
There are two types of lawn grasses: annual and perennial. Annuals are plants that produce seeds year after year; perennials do not produce seeds.
Perennial grasses such as fescue, clover, rye and others will only live for one season before dying out completely. Annual grasses like Bermuda, Hemlock and Kentucky bluegrass will grow indefinitely until they die out altogether.
Ornamental Grasses For Zone 6
Ornamental grasses play a very important role in the garden. In fact, they can perform better than ordinary plants.
Ornamental grasses are not the same as lawn grasses since they have no connection to them. Ornamental grasses can be used in a variety of ways to add atmosphere and ambiance. They are very effective when used alongside large trees or around rocks and boulders.
Ornamental grasses can also be grown in containers and used to add height, color and texture. These plants are usually best set in groups rather than singularly since they look better in numbers.
The perfect grouping prefers moist soil, but some can tolerate dry soil conditions as well.
It is very important to plant ornamental grasses from seed to enjoy their full benefits. When buying these plants in a nursery, make sure you get the ones that are native to your area.
Ornamental grasses can tolerate a wide range of climates and soil types. They are best grown with the use of proper seeds rather than root divisions, rhizomes or bulbs since this is not ideal for their growth.
If you like, you can divide ornamental grass plants in spring and grow them separately. These plants will spread naturally without taking over your entire yard.
They do not require much maintenance and once established, they will thrive with very little care on your part.
The most popular ornamental grasses include:
Blue Oat Grass (Helictotrichon Campestre)
This is a native plant of the British Isles that is well-adapted to dry and poor soil conditions. It grows best in partially shaded areas with acidic soil.
This plant grows about one foot in height and has slender green leaves, turning purplish-blue in the summer. It grows in narrow tufts and flowers from late spring to early summer, bearing small flowerheads that turn brown in the fall.
Blue Fescue (Festuca Cypria)
This is a very attractive plant with narrow leaves and light blue flowers. It grows in tufts and does well in most soil types.
It blooms mostly during late spring and summer. This plant prefers partial sun and dry soil conditions. It is a native to the Mediterranean region.
Desert Fescue (Fescue Mercedica)
This is a slender plant with slender leaves and light green flowers. It grows in tufts and flowers in late spring to summer, spreading quickly.
It prefers dry soil conditions and can tolerate most soil types. This plant is a native plant of the southwestern United States.
Downey Daisy (Chaetopappa Rosanervia)
This is a native plant of the U.S.
that grows in dry or moist soil types and thrives in full sun to partial shade. It grows about one foot in height and has light yellow flowers. It flowers during early spring and sometimes into summer. This plant spreads quickly due to its extensive creeping rhizome system.
English Wood Grass (Lagurus Ondulatus)
This is an ornamental plant with narrow leaves that grows in tufts. It flowers during summer and prefers dry soil conditions.
It has very small flowers and is a native of the New Zealand region. This plant spreads through stolons and forms large colonies over time.
Fountain Grass (Pennisetum setaceum)
This is a stiff-leaved grass that grows in tufts. It has dark green foliage and white flowers with purple stripes.
It prefers dry soil conditions and grows up to five feet in height. It flowers during summer and forms dense stands. This plant originates from Africa.
Sources & references used in this article:
Ornamental grasses for the home and garden by MH Meyer, RG Mower – 1997 – ecommons.cornell.edu
Miscanthus Anderss. Produces Viable Seed in Four USDA Hardiness Zones by MH Meyer, CL Tchida – Journal of Environmental …, 1999 – meridian.allenpress.com
Taylor’s Guide to Ornamental Grasses by C Ottesen – 1989 – McGraw-Hill Companies
Ornamental grasses by R Holmes – 1997 – books.google.com