A warm-season bunchgrass, Alkali Sacaton Grass has a soft-focus, fine-leaved base clump.
As the summer goes on, airy seedheads rise above the leaves, stretching up to 1,80 m (6') tall. Alkali Sacaton flowers for a many months, beginning in June.
The seed heads are pink-hued and light, creating a decorative lacystrata that lasts until winter snows.
Its adaptability to salty, clay, wet or dry soils makes it suitable for many landscapes.
Valuable grass for habitat restoration and revegetation projects in disturbed habitat.
Cold tolerant to Zone 4, Alkali sacaton usually grows in alkaline, moist soils but also adapts well to sandy, loam, clay and even caliche.
Whatever the soil, Alkali sacaton should be kept moist but not saturated.
Genus - Sporobolus
Species - Airoides
Common name - Alkali Sacaton Grass
Pre-Treatment - Not-required
Plant type - Perennial
Hardiness zones - 4 - 11
Exposure - Full Sun, Partial Sun
Height - 2'-4' / 0.60 - 1.20 m
Spread - 36" / 0.90 m
Growth rate - Medium
Bloom season - Summer
Leaf / Flower color - Green / Gold or reddish
Soil PH - Neutral, Alkaline
Soil type - Salty, clay, wet or dry
Water requirements - Average
Landscape uses - Ornamental landscape grass at gateways, in naturalized mass plantings, as a background or filler in semi-desert shrub plantings.
1. Sow seeds indoors to produce plants large enough to move outdoors in specific locations after frost. Fill a seed flat with 2 parts potting soil and 1 part perlite. Mist the flat until it is evenly moist.
2. Sow the seeds half an inch apart on the surface of the soil mixture. Mist lightly and place the lid on the flat. Place the flat in a light room where the temperatures is at least 68 F. Mist the flat every couple of days or as the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry. Remove the lid for one hour per day to prevent mold.
3. Check the flat daily after the first week to look for germination. Sprouting usually occurs within two weeks, at which point you can grow the grasses without the lid. Thin the grasses to two inches apart and allow them to fill in until they are 3 to 4 inches high. Transplant them after the danger of frost has passed.
4. Plant the blue fescue seed outside after the danger of frost has passed in your zone. Prepare a garden bed by tilling in 5 inches of compost and 1 to 2 inches of sand. Remove weeds, rocks and roots, and rake the bed smooth.
5. Use the rake to create trenches in the soil of the planting bed. Plant the seed in the trenches and then run the back of the rake over the bed to knock a fine layer of soil onto the seeds to prevent the wind from taking them. Water the bed until it is damp 3 to 5 inches under the surface. Use a finger or dig a little trench to make sure the bed is damp enough.
6. Mist the bed daily in the morning or afternoon. On very sunny days, you may have to do both to keep the seeds from drying out. Blue fescue does not germinate if the temperature falls below 65 F or if the seed dries out.
7. Thin the sprouted seeds if necessary, continue watering and keep weeds out of the bed. If you want to transplant the seedlings, do so once they are 3 to 4 inches high.
Information source: eHow.com
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