Switch Grass Seed & Plants
warm season grass seed
Easyliving Native Perennial Wildflowers
Native Wild Flower Seed & Plants for Home Landscaping & Prairie Restoration
|Habitat||Bloom Period||Flower Color||Height Inches||Moisture||Plant Spacing||Lifespan|
|Sun to Light Shade||July and August||Reddish-
|30 to 42||Dry to Average||18 to 24 inches||Perennial
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass photo by cj
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass potted plants are available, $4.00 each plus UPS shipping. Please contact us by email with your address & zip code for shipping charges & availability on Panicum virgatum Switch Grass potted plants
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packet - $2.50
1 ounce - $3.50
1 pound - $15.00
Some grass seeds are bulky, please email for shipping charges on pound quantities of grass seed.
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass warm season grass is perfect for both a formal flower garden or prairie meadow and is a host plant to Skipper butterflies. This is one of the best known prairie grasses growing throughout the tall grass prairie region.
Panicum virgatum Switch Grass is a very attractive clump forming native grass useful for landscaping, wildlife habitat and erosion control. Panicum virgatum Switch Grass seed is eaten by songbirds and upland gamebirds and the plant provides cover for ground birds and small mammals. Panicum virgatum Switch Grass is useful in ornamental plantings with its blue-green leaves during the growing season and attractive rusty color with white fluffy seedheads in the fall. Because of its growth habit and adaptability to a wide range of soil conditions is useful for erosion control.
Native Panicum virgatum Switch Grass grass occurs naturally in upland prairies, limestone glades, and open woods, and is Widespread in the United States and adjacent parts of eastern Canada. Gramineae (Grass Family)
The map below shows areas where Panicum virgatum Switch Grass warm season grass grows wild. More switch grass information from www.plants.usda.gov is at bottom of this page.
contact us by email for shipping charges on
Panicum virgatum Switch
Grass seeds, to order copy the order
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Please contact us by email with your address for shipping charges & availability on Panicum virgatum Switch Grass potted plants
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The shipping amounts below are for flower seeds and small packets of grass seed. Please email for the correct shipping amount on orders containing ounce & pound quantities of grass seed
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|seed orders up to $20.00 =||$3.00 shipping|
|$20.01 - $50.00 =||$4.00 shipping|
|$50.01-$100.00 =||$5.00 shipping|
over $100.00 = 5 % of subtotal
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PO Box 522
Willow Springs, Mo. 65793
Panicum virgatum Switch
Grass plant distribution map
complements of USDA, NRCS. 2001. The PLANTS Database, Version 3.1
(http://plants.usda.gov). National Plant Data Center, Baton Rouge, LA 70874-4490 USA.
Control: Switchgrass is
perhaps our most valuable native grass on a wide range of sites.
It is a valuable soil stabilization plant on strip-mine spoils, sand
dunes, dikes, and other critical areas. It
is also suitable for low windbreak plantings in truck crop fields.
Switchgrass provides excellent nesting and fall and winter cover for pheasants,
quail, and rabbits. It holds up
well in heavy snow (particularly ‘Shelter’ and ‘Kanlow’ cultivars) and
is useful on shooting preserves. The
seeds provide food for pheasants, quail, turkeys, doves, and songbirds.
This plant may become weedy or invasive in some regions or habitats and may displace desirable vegetation if not properly managed. Please consult with your local NRCS Field Office, Cooperative Extension Service office, or state natural resource or agriculture department regarding its status and use. Weed information is also available from the PLANTS Web site at plants.usda.gov.
Panicum virgatum L., switchgrass, is native to all of the United States except California and the Pacific Northwest. It is a perennial sod-forming grass that grows 3 to 5 feet tall and can be distinguished from other warm-season grasses, even when plants are young, by the white patch of hair at the point where the leaf attaches to the stem. The stem is round and usually has a reddish tint. The seed head is an open, spreading panicle.
On suitable soils, switchgrass is climatically adapted throughout the most of the United States. Moderately deep to deep, somewhat dry to poorly drained, sandy to clay loam soils are best. It does poorly on heavy soils. In the East, it performs well on shallow and droughty soil.
Switchgrass should be
seeded in a pure stand when used for pasture or hay because it can be managed
better alone than in a mixture. Its
slick, free-flowing seed can be planted with most seed drills or with a
broadcast spreader. In the Southeast, a planting rate of approximately 10 pounds
PLS per acre is recommended. Seedbeds
should be firmed with a roller prior to the drilling or broadcasting of seed.
If seeds are planted using the broadcast method, the area should be
rolled afterward to help cover the seed. When
drilled, seeds should be planted 1/4 inch deep.
No-tillage seedings in closely
grazed or burned sod also have been successful, where control of sod is
accomplished with clipping, grazing, or proper herbicides.
potassium should be applied according to soil tests before or at seeding.
Nitrogen, however, should not be used at seeding time because it will
stimulate weed growth.
To control weeds during establishment, mow switchgrass to a height of 4 inches in May or 6 inches in June or July. Grazing is generally not recommended the first year, but a vigorous stand can be grazed late in the year if grazing periods are short with at least 30 days of rest provided between grazings. Switchgrass is the earliest maturing of the common native warm-season grasses and it is ready to graze in early summer.
Established stands of
switchgrass may be fertilized in accordance with soil tests.
Phosphorus and potassium may not be needed if the field is grazed since
these elements will be recycled back to the soil by the grazing animal.
Apply nitrogen after switchgrass has begun to produce using a single
application in mid-to-late May or a split application in both May and early
July. Avoid high rates of nitrogen
because carry-over could spur cool-season grass growth and harm young plants the
benefit from burning of plant residues just prior to initiation of spring
growth. Burning fields once every 3
to 5 years decreases weed competition, eliminates excessive residue and
stimulates switch grass growth. Switchgrass
used for wildlife food and cover should be burned once every 3 to 4 years to
reduce mulch accumulations that inhibit movement of hatchlings and attract nest
grazing management, begin grazing switchgrass after it has
reached a height of 14 to 16 inches, and stop when plants are grazed to
within 4 inches of the ground during late spring, 8 inches in early summer, and
12 inches in late summer. A rest
before frost is needed to allow plants to store carbohydrates in the stem bases
and crown. Plants may be grazed to a height of 6 to 8 inches after
frost. The winter stubble is needed
to provide insulation.
intensive systems, grazing can begin in the first paddocks when plants reach a
height of 10 inches and should not be grazed below a stubble height of 6 to 8
inches. Grazed paddocks need to be
rested 30-60 days before being grazed again.
and Selected Materials (and area of origin)
‘Alamo’ (TX), ‘Blackwell’ (OK), ‘Cave-In-Rock’ (IL), ‘Dacotah’ (ND), ‘Forestburg’ (SD), ‘Kanlow’ (OK), ‘Nebraska 28’ (NE), ‘Shawnee,’ ‘Shelter’ (WV) (cultivars); Grenville (NM) (informal release); Miami (Dade Co, FL), Stuart (Stuart, FL), Wabasso (Wabasso, FL) (source identified releases). Seeds are available from most commercial sources and through large agricultural supply firms.
Interest in switchgrass as a renewable biofuel resource has been increasing in recent years, primarily in the Southern United States. The Booneville, Arkansas, Plant Materials Center (PMC) and the Plant and Soil Science Department of Oklahoma State University (OSU) are cooperating to evaluate several upland types of switchgrass for use as a biomass energy resource. Selections of upland types of switchgrass have been evaluated by OSU for several years. The development of hybrid progeny with substantial heterosis for increased biomass yield will ultimately result in improved hybrid cultivars for the Central and Southern United States. The PMC is in the process of assessing several improved lines along with commercially available cultivars for dry-matter potential and environmental adaptation. Results of this study may contribute to producers cashing in on a growing demand for renewable fuels and a decrease on our dependency on fossil fuels.