Frost seeding switchgrass could be one if th easiest and foolproof ways to establish an outstanding swithchgass planting! Burning fields once every 3 to 5 years decreases weed competition, eliminates excessive residue and stimulates switch grass growth. Since alot of people plant their foodplots and other crops in the spring, they automatically assume that is the time to plant switchgrass as well. It will spread slowly over time and make stunning vertical accents wherever it is planted. Choose your switchgrass wisely by understanding its growth form – height and stalk stiffness matter for a winter habitat. This warm-season grass blooms in mid- to late- summer. They tend to like an average soil that isn't too rich in organic matter, which can cause plants to flop. Planting switchgrass for deer habitat does make some sense, but I have never been a big fan of it. Depending on the variety and cultivar, some have foliage that changes color in the fall. If you’re concerned about your soil quality, check the type of switchgrass you have and look it up to make sure it likes the ground where you live. How to Grow Switchgrass From Seed . Ground condition, soil preparation and planting depth are critical to success, and there’s a wealth of how-to-plant resources online. One of the most misunderstood facts about planting switchgrass is what time of the year is the best to plant. Since it’s a native species, it’s quite low maintenance, and there’s no need to pre-treat the soil before planting. I have not seen that the deer use it much in my hunting area, but I assume in areas with limited cover, they would use it more. Switchgrass, a tough ornamental grass that stands up to a variety of harsh conditions, adds both texture and color to a garden. Without a dormancy-breaking step in the planting process, as few as five percent of the seeds may germinate.This is thought to be one reason so many switchgrass and other native warm-season plantings fail. Switchgrass is an excellent food source for livestock, and is especially palatable before plants flower, but its quality and palability decline rapidly as it approaches heading. Switchgrass seeds can be very dormant right out of the bag. A goal for switchgrass establishment is to plant at … I had not planned on planting switch until mid-winter last year so prepping the plots (I planted 4 small plots of it in different areas of my property) the previous fall was not done. The large differences in the recommendations can be attributed to seed quality, planting method, and environment. They tolerate a wide range of soils, even clay and sandy soils and dry soils, but prefer the soil to be moist. Switchgrass is a hardy plant that can survive in soil that isn’t very rich. Planting a switchgrass cultivar south of its origin area results in less biomass because the shorter photoperiod causes plants to flower too early. Production Challenges . Although switchgrass can grow easily from seeds, it's worth noting that the seedlings often differ significantly from the original plants. There are major challenges to using switchgrass for cellulosic ethanol (Mitchell et al., 2008). A method to break dormancy ensures higher rates of germination. Switch Grass is a North American native grass that is very easy to grow. Seed Dormancy. Fields can begin being grazed when plants are 10 to 12 inches tall, and should be grazed down to 4 inches within two weeks. Switchgrass will benefit from burning of plant residues just prior to initiation of spring growth. 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