Sedge lawns are one of the most popular types of native landscaping. They provide attractive and green look to your home or business. Sedges have been used since ancient times in gardening and they’re still being used today. There are many different kinds of sedges grown for their beautiful colors, but there’s only two species that are commonly used for sod: Pennsylvanian (Pennyroyal) and Texas (Texas). These two species are native to North America. Both species grow well in all climates and soils. However, the Texas sedge is much more common than the Pennyroyal variety.
The Pennsylvanian sedge grows best in cool areas with little or no rainfall during wintertime. This type of soil is found mainly in northern states such as New York, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Massachusetts. This species is known for its white flowers and stems.
The Texas sedge is similar to the Pennsylvanian sedge except it has darker green leaves.
These two sedges are both easy to grow. You don’t need any special equipment other than some soil and water. In fact, you may even want to leave them alone if you live in a place where these plants aren’t growing naturally because they require very little care once established.
Once you plant them in your yard they should grow for many years without any special attention.
The most common use for these plants is to turn large lawns into a green field. Farmers will often use these in pastures to feed their cattle, horses and sheep. They also help keep the soil from eroding.
Many people like to use them as a ground cover because they spread slowly over time, requiring little maintenance.
In addition to being popular as a lawn substitute, these sedges have more ornamental uses as well such as flower gardens and around ponds and fountains. You may also find them incorporated in some types of landscape design.
As mentioned earlier, there are two types of these sedges that can be grown: the Texas and the Pennyroyal. Both are very similar but they each have their own unique traits and uses.
The Texas sedge is the more common of the two. It has long, narrow leaves that grow in dense clusters around thin, green stems. These stems can grow up to 3 feet tall and turn brown during the winter months.
The flowers bloom from May through August and are white in color. This plant spreads slowly from underground stems called rhizomes.
The Pennyroyal sedge is similar to the Texas variety but it is much more delicate. Its leaves are shorter and more narrow than the Texas sedge and it only grows up to 2 feet in height. The flowers are also smaller and bloom later than its cousin, in July and August.
The stems are reddish brown in the summer and turn brown during the winter months.
These sedges are easy to maintain and care for. They prefer moist soils but will tolerate many different types of soil as long as they are kept watered. In fact, they prefer to have wet feet so it is best to water them on a regular basis, especially during the first year or two after you plant them.
It’s a good idea to add a 2-3 inch layer of mulch around the plants to keep the soil moist and prevent weeds from growing. You can also add a light layer of compost or manure around the plants once or twice a year to keep them healthy and encourage strong root growth.
If you have large areas of these plants, it’s a good idea to divide them every few years or so to prevent them from taking over a small area. This is very easy to do and only requires a simple shovel or spade. Once you dig up the cluster of roots, simply separate the plants and replant them in a different area.
Whichever type of sedge you decide to plant in your landscape, you can be sure that they are low maintenance plants that will provide greenery all year long. These are perfect plants to use if you have limited time to take care of your yard.
So next spring when you’re out looking for plants to spruce up the look of your yard, take some time to consider the lowly sedge, especially the Texas and the Pennyroyal. With these beautiful additions to your landscape, you may find yourself spending more time outside just sitting and enjoying the view.
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Note: The images shown here are not our specific plants, just examples of what the sedges may look like.
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Why Consider Landscaping With Blackberries?
If you live in an area that gets heavy rains at certain times throughout the year, chances are you’ve probably acquired a few blackberry vines in your yard without even trying. A popular belief about blackberries is that they take over everything in their path and choke out other plants around them, but this is a misconception. In actuality blackberries are very beneficial vines for your garden or landscaping.
Resist the Urge to Wack Them Out
Most people, when they get a few blackberry vines in their yard, feel the need to go out with a shovel or hoe and get rid of them. But if you have a few good sized blackberries, it’s not a bad idea to let them be. Blackberry plants are very beneficial for your yard because they attract many different types of wildlife.
Many different types of birds, including hummingbirds, like to eat the blackberries as well as smaller wildlife such as rabbits, raccoons and opossums. In addition to this, it helps protects your soil and keeps it from eroding when there are heavy rains.
The key is controlling their spread. If you have a few vines that aren’t too out of control, it’s a good idea to leave them be because they have a natural tendency to choke themselves out. This simply means that the vines grow so much in certain areas that they begin to overlap in a circle which closes around the plant’s sunlight supply, causing the plant itself to die off.
Controlling Their Spread
If you find that your blackberry plants are beginning to get out of control and spread into areas you don’t want them to be, there are a few ways you can control their spread. One thing you can do is cut down entire stalks at ground level. This may seem counter productive because you’re essentially cutting away potential berries for the future, but trust me, there will still be plenty more.
You can also have stalks left standing in certain areas to act as a support system for other plants that might need assistance, such as vines.
Another thing you can do is allow some of the stalks to grow tall before cutting them down. When you allow some of the stalks to grow tall, they will produce flowers which will attract beneficial predatory insects that will help you get rid of other types of insects around your yard and garden that may become a nuisance.
Also, cutting some of the stalks down will ensure that you have berries for future months and years. A good rule of thumb is to only cut back 50% of what grows each year. Committing this rule to memory is probably the best way to ensure that you have berries for a very long time, especially if you’re in an area where blackberries naturally grow year round.
Blackberries have existed on earth for many years and they are not going anywhere anytime soon. If you want to enjoy their benefits, such as having a constant supply of fresh berries for yourself and the wildlife, there are some things that you need to consider.
If you like the taste of blackberries, but don’t necessarily want to go through the trouble of taking care of them, you can always buy them at your local grocery store around July. They tend to be more expensive, but they’re definitely worth it.
In addition to being delicious, blackberries also have many health benefits. Blackberries are high in antioxidants that are great for your body and overall health. They are even known to improve your vision and reduce the risk of cancer.
If growing or buying is out of the question, you can look into making preserves, jam or juice from your berries. They will still have all the great taste, with far less work and hassle. You can even find them in stores that sell canned goods.
If you’re looking to save money on your grocery bill, blackberries are one of the berries that are cheapest and easiest to obtain. Whether you buy them or grow them yourself, they are a delicious addition to your diet that shouldn’t be ignored!
Sources & references used in this article:
Feed value of native forages of the Tibetan Plateau of China by RJ Long, SO Apori, FB Castro, ER Ørskov – Animal Feed Science and …, 1999 – Elsevier
A comparative study of the water budgets of lawns under three management scenarios by NS Bijoor, DE Pataki, D Haver, JS Famiglietti – Urban Ecosystems, 2014 – Springer
The American meadow garden: Creating a natural alternative to the traditional lawn by J Greenlee – 2009 – books.google.com
Controlling cattail invasion in sedge/grass meadows by DA Wilcox, K Buckler, A Czayka – Wetlands, 2018 – Springer
Reed Canary Grass (Phalaris arundinacea) Management Guide by C Annen, T Bernthal, T Boos, J Doll, M Healy… – polkswcd.com
Plant adaptation in an ecosystem context: effects of defoliation, nitrogen, and water on growth of an African C4 sedge by SJ McNaughton, LL Wallace, MB Coughenour – Ecology, 1983 – Wiley Online Library