View Full Version : Native grasses

04-08-2003, 07:15 AM
I would like to plant a native meadow and would like some species suggestions. We live in Rancho Murieta 20 miles south-east of Sacramento and want grasses that will stay short, tolerate mowing a few times a year for neatness, and stay green for a fairly extended season with a little supplemental watering. We want to plant plugs quite densely for quick coverage, and will leave a few openings for native perennial and annual flowers. Would any native sedges work, as a mix with grasses?</p>

04-09-2003, 06:41 AM
Paula - For appropriate native grasses, you should contact the California Native Grass Association. They have a lot of info for the Central Valley & environs. Do a Google search, and you will find their website. Don`t know if they have info on sedges - you would certainly need a sedge that could take the hot weather, irrigation or not. If CNGA can`t tell you about sedges, try the Sacramento Chapter of CNPS. Good luck, Lori Hubbart</p>

04-14-2003, 07:12 AM
Paula, Good to hear you plan on using native grasses for your meadow area. I have done something similar on a small scaledown here in S. California with Carex tum. and Carex pragracilis sp? along with a few native grasses and bulbs. Calochortus are great for this! wildflowers also are sprinkled in a bit too thick this year but will remove most of them when grasses and sedges become more dominant. The key maintenance feature is of course, weeding! As soon as you plant native grasses a magic thing occurs where every non-native grass read 'Weed' invades and needs careful hand removal. Proper weeding and treatment before you plant helps but nothing entirely stops the need for hand weeding. That said, it is a beautiful thing once accomplished, and very satisfying. Best-Dan</p>

04-22-2003, 12:55 PM
Thank you for the information. Your planting sounds similar to what we want, but a few questions. Where are you in Southern California ie: hot-as-hell inland, or cool coastal? Are the carex in hot sun? How much water to you give your meadow, and how do you deliver that water? Did you plant seeds or plugs and plants? We have read a great deal about weeds, and plan on spending the summer and fall eradicating every one of the little buggers we can sprout and kill, but know it will still be an ongoing battle. We will start with plugs, so hope that will at least help us distinguish the weeds from the plants we want to keep. Thanks for your help and input, Paula</p>

04-23-2003, 04:55 PM
I have good luck in Benicia with red fescue Festuca rubra on the north side of the house, and purple needle grass Nasella pulchra on the south side. The red fescue is neater and has more attractive seed heads. The needle grass grows thicker. As for native trees, just look at your surrounding landscape. I see a lot of blue oak, valley oak and live oak.</p>

04-25-2003, 04:56 AM
I live in El Toro and do have some marine influence but being seven miles from the coast and seperated by some coastal range means it does get hot in summer. The Carex is in full sum though a bit of shade helps it normally. Watering is done principally by hand although there is a system in that has 12 inch popups that is used when no one is available to water. My 'meadow' has redwood on one side not a good idea in socal and foothill stuff on other. Therefore the meadow on the redwood side gets water most of the year and the side near the foothill community stuff gets nothing other thatn rain with few exceptions. That allows for a mix of different bulbs and annuals accepting/demanding different watering conditions. Best-dan</p>