Exploring New Home Construction

2 Creative Ways To Use Tall Grasses In Your Backyard

Clumps of tall grasses are commonly used in bedding landscapes to vary the heights of the vegetation and add visual interest. But, this is not the only way you can use ornamental grasses in your yard. Here are two creative ways you can grow some tall grass in your backyard to be decorative and also to serve a functional purpose.

Grass Privacy Fence

Tall grasses, such as some types of bamboo can grow from 15 to 50 feet tall. If you want to keep your yard private even though you are surrounded by neighbors, tall bamboo grasses can help you do this. Plant a line of different types of tall grasses around the perimeter of your yard along your fence line. 

Phyllostachys bamboo will grow up to its full height the first year you plant it and can survive in USDA zones 5, 6, 10, and 11. Be sure you leave some space around phyllostachys bamboo because it will send out new bamboo shoots up to five feet away from each main plant. But, the new sprouting of the bamboo shoots will thicken your backyard's natural privacy fence. 

A tall grass that can grow in USDA zones 5 through 9 is Giant Silvergrass. This grass can grow to a fully-grown height of 15 feet in the first year. But, make sure you allow enough space around this privacy-creating grass because each clump of plants can grow out to a width of eight feet.

Borinda boliana is a bamboo that can survive in temperatures as low as -5 degrees F. This clumping type of bamboo plant will grow anywhere from 8 to 25 feet tall and won't spread out into surrounding soils like other varieties do. Borinda boliana grows well in USDA zones 6 through 9

Prairie Grass Lawn

If you are tired of a traditional lawn, you can replace it with prairie grasses. By cultivating a yard full of prairie grasses, you will save time because you don't need to mow them weekly and the grasses don't need fertilizer and much watering. Some of the grasses will even have  blooms throughout the spring and summer. 

If you have a lawn or any weeds growing in the soil where you want to plant your prairie grasses, first get rid of any current vegetation growing there. It is best to start this process at the end of summer or right before fall so the soil will be ready to plant prairie grasses the following spring. Cover the area with tarps and leave them there for two months to kill any plant growth in the soil. Remove the tarps and till the soil. You can plant your seeds the end of October, then in the spring the seeds will begin to germinate. Or, you can plant your prairie grass seeds in the early spring.

You can choose from several different types of prairie grasses to plant in your yard, including prairie phlox, blue false indigo, and purple coneflower. It is easier to spread the seeds evenly if you first mix your seeds with sand, then spread the mixture over the soil. Plan on using about 1/2 pound of grass seed for every 1000 square feet. 

To help keep the seeds moist and in place while they germinate, you can spread straw over the seeded area before you water your seeds. Once they germinate, you don't need to water them any further as they won't need much moisture to continue growing. 

For the first year you should mow your prairie grasses several times at a 4 to 8-inch mow height. This helps keep weeds from taking over the soil. Then, you will only need to mow the grasses once per year in the spring.

Use these two ideas to landscape your yard with tall ornamental grasses with the help of professionals like Kona Land and Water Escapes.