Photo © Carolyn Fannon
The Little Blue Stem (Schizachyrium scoparium) is a tufted grass that ground birds LOVE living in! It is also eaten by songbirds, upland gamebirds and sometimes grazed by livestock! It is also often used in erosion control as a cover crop and as a prairie restoration plant.
This grass grows to a medium height ranging between 18 inches to 3 feet, depending on the soil quality. The preferred soil quality for Little Blue Stem plants is well-drained, medium to dry, infertile soil with a pH of 7.0 or slightly higher. It does not tolerate flood conditions very well at all. The growing season for this grass begins in late spring until the first killing frost.
- Prepare a seedbed by making sure there are no weeds and that the seed bed is firm. Plant the seed 1/4 inch into the soil during the spring or the fall (dormant seeding).
- Little Blue Stem seedlings are incredibly resilient, so you’ll have plenty of newly established plantings in no time!
- Don’t add fertilizer to your soil the first year, unless soil tests indicate that there’s a severe deficiency of potassium and/or phosphorous. If this is the case, don’t add fertilizer with nitrogen– it will encourage weeds to grow too!
If you would like to know more about the Little Blue Stem, click here!