Looking to add some vertical appeal to your landscape? Why not incorporate prairie grasses? Native prairie grasses once covered a much larger portion of Manitoba before being removed for farming and land development. Prairie grasses are perennial plants; they are able to survive our long, cold winters and come back strong and lush during the growing season. You can also find prairie grasses near shallow water bodies such as a marshes and swales, as they are an essential part of the natural water filtration cycle.
There are two types of grasses that bloom at different times of the season. Cool Season Grasses begin to grow during springtime while temperatures are still cool, and become dormant, as temperatures get warmer. These grasses typically produce seeds in June. On the other hand, warm season grasses grow in June and stay vibrant throughout the summer. When considering grasses, it is important to include a mix of both warm and cool season varieties to keep your project looking lush. Whether you are planting an abundance of grasses, or using them as accent features, these grasses will add visual interest to any project.
Some of our favourite ornamental and low-maintenance grasses include: Karl Foerster, Miscanthus Flame Grass, and Big Bluestem. If you want to include a taste of Manitoba’s prairie heritage in your gardening project, we highly recommend using these rustic, hardy grasses.
You can find a variety of different native or non-native prairie grasses at your local nurseries. Check out Jensen’s Nursery, Aubin Nurseries, Shelmerdine Garden Centre, Lacoste Garden Centre, and Prairie Originals for more information and selection!
*Title Image – Big Bluestem