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Switch Grass Seed - Native Grass Seed

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Native Grass Switch Grass Facts

PANICUM VIRGATUM

SwitchgrassSwitchgrass seed is planted for many purposes some of which are for forage, pasture, bio-fuels, erosion control and as an ornamental grass. Switchgrass is a native, perennial warm season grass indigenous to the Central and North American tall-grass prairie into Canada. This native grass species is eco-friendly for many reasons two of which are the need for agricultural chemicals to grow switchgrass is low to non-existent, switchgrass captures and stores carbon dioxide (greenhouse gases) by enhanced soil carbon trapping. There are many varieties of switchgrass seed that are adapted to almost all regions of the USA and parts of Canada.

Growing Switchgrass

Switchgrass is a warm-season perennial bunchgrass that grows to 8-10 ft. tall (according to variety). This grass is rhizomatous and aggressive. It has open panicles to 20 inches across, leaf blades to 3/4 inch wide. Blooms late summer and fall. 

  • Origin/Range/Habitat: Nov. Scotia to WY, south to FL, AZ, Mexico and Central America.  Wet to mesic prairies, open woods, brackish marshes. 
  • Culture/uses: full sun to light shade; mesic to moist soils, good for tall grass prairie mixes, soil stabilization. Seeds attract birds.
  • Germination information: state standard = Seeds/lb. = 288,000
  • Planting rate: 10 lbs./acre for solid stand, 5 lbs./acre with flowers; 8 LB per acre drilled

Switchgrass Varieties

Dacotah was developed and released from North Dakota. Has good cold hardiness, not as tall as other varieties.

Sunburst is an upper Midwest release with good cold hardiness. Has larger seeds, making it a good source of food for wildlife. Also has good potential for biomass production.

Summer is a lush variety with heavy foliage. A South Dakota release with good cold hardiness.

Forestburg is a cold-hardy northern variety. Well suited for forage production. Prefers light to medium soils and is drought tolerant.

Nebraska 28 (NE 28) was adapted in Nebraska, and performs well in sandy, well drained soils throughout the upper Midwest. Used in conservation practices, as well as habitat creation.

Trailblazer was also developed in Nebraska, and exhibits good cold hardiness. Holds up well in the harsh northern climates. A good variety for grazing.

Blackwell is a disease resistant variety often used in many conservation practices throughout the Midwest. A Kansas release, it has good late season growth making it a popular choice in many areas.

Cave-in-Rock is very disease resistant, and a good choice for grazing due to its heavy, lush foliage. It performs well under wet, humid conditions. Plants may reach a mature height of 6-8 feet tall, depending on conditions. Does best in well-drained soils. Cave-In-Rock originated in Illinois, and performs very well throughout the Midwest. Also used in many conservation practices.

Kanlow is a lowland variety developed in Kansas. Performs well in marginal soils, and holds up to wet conditions. Performs well in the southern states, and is also good for grazing.

Alamo is the tallest of all Switchgrass varieties, reaching 8-10 feet at maturity. Released from Texas, it has late season maturity, with heavy foliage.

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PHOTOGRAPH NOTE: The color of wildflowers viewed in digital pictures on this site will vary depending on the monitor used and display settings.  The actual grow-out color of any wildflower species will depend on many unknown variables including site fertility, weather, time of year, lighting effects for the time of day, etc. Colors of any one wildflower usually will vary in shade from pictures available on this site or from the same or similar wildflowers grown at different locations. While we make every effort to try and present the most likely true color of wildflowers on this site, pictures shown are not guaranteed to be true to color.
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