GLT's Grow: Pride Of The Prairie | WGLT

GLT's Grow: Pride Of The Prairie

Oct 28, 2016

Prairie grass is making a comeback in the Midwest.
Credit j van cise / Flickr via Creative Commons

Many, many years ago, prairie grasses covered much of the Midwest.  The grasses lost the battle to cultivated crops -- corn, wheat, soybeans.  But now everyday gardeners are trying to bring prairie grass back where it belongs.

  • Kevin in Hudson so admired the graceful sweep of prairie grass at the Illinois State University Horticulture Center that he decided to plant some of his own. 
  • There's many varieties of prairie grass from which to choose, said Patrick Murphy, host of GLT's Grow.
  • For varieties that are easy to propagate from seed, there's Big Blue Stem (which lives up to its name), Sideoats Grama,  Switch Grass and Canadian Wild Rye, which is a good sized grass, four to five feet tall.
  • You can find potted native grasses, but they cost more as they are not grown in masses, like more common plants.
  • You'll need plenty of sunshine to make prairie grasses happy. No shade, please.