Creating a lush green lawn from scratch can be very enjoyable, but the process of getting there can be a long and stressful one. There are a lot of factors to consider when determining the grass that will be most successful for your specific environment
Here is some important information on Wheatgrass to help you determine if it’s what you’re looking for.
Some Facts About Wheatgrass
There are many things about Wheatgrass that you should know before planting it in your yard. The Latin term for Wheatgrass is Agropyron riparian. The name translates to Streambank Wheatgrass.
Wheatgrass is grown throughout the United States and Canada. It is considered a perennial and is very drought resistant.
Another interesting fact about Wheatgrass is that it also comes in organic form. This type is a bit more expensive and could be a better fit for a small home garden.
You can extract juice from your homegrown Wheatgrass and drink it for nutritional reasons. Wheatgrass juice is packed with health benefits and is said to do things like cleanse the liver, revitalize skin, stabilize blood sugar levels, and boost immunity.
There are also many native versions of this type of grass:
- Green Needle Grass
- Slender Wheatgrass
- Blue Joint
- Thick Spike Wheatgrass
Some places where you may have spotted Wheatgrass include:
- Irrigation banks
- Bans on the side of the road
Characteristics & Traits
Homeowners love this type of grass because it does not require a lot of maintenance or frequent watering.
It can also adapt to many different kinds of environments including almost all types of soil.
Wheatgrass is known to be very drought resistant, but it can also endure the pressure of heavy rains due to its strong and deep roots.
Here are some other common traits of Wheatgrass:
Expansive groundcover: Planting Wheatgrass can be beneficial to your existing lawn, especially if it has receded over the years. Wheatgrass has the tendency to grow very quickly and rapidly.
Feeds livestock and wild life: Many cattle and wild life tend to feed off of Wheatgrass. This is because it has high vitamin, mineral and amino acid content and it’s easy to digest.
Survives in sandy soils: You can even plant Wheatgrass on sandy soils. Normally it is very tough for any type of grass to grow through sandy surfaces, but Wheatgrass will continue to grow and adapt to the sandy environment.
Where Did It Come From & What Are The Varieties?
As mentioned earlier, there are many different varieties of Wheatgrass.
One of the most popular types is called Streambank Wheatgrass. This type of grass has been seen all over the United States and Canada.
The top growth of the Wheatgrass is always fine-leaved. This means that it gives off a lighter appearance that is almost transparent.
Here are some other varieties of wheatgrass:
- Bluejoint: This type of Wheatgrass is known to grow in colder environments. In the U.S., it is particularly common in Kansas. Bluejoint is planted often because it adapts well to a variety of soil types, which is great because most soils reject some grasses. It also has a very high drought tolerance.
- Thick Spike Wheatgrass: This Wheatgrass has a strong resemblance to Western Wheatgrass, but Thick Spike is much greener in color and appearance. This type can be grown in light to medium soils as well.
- Slender Wheatgrass: This type is considered to be a cool season and short-lived Wheatgrass. It establishes itself very quickly, but dies off much faster than any other type of Wheatgrass. The Slender Wheatgrass does provide homeowners with lots of groundcover, but just not for as long.
- Prairie Sandreed: Prairie Sandreed is a warm season grass and can live very long compared to some other types of Wheatgrass. It is slow to establish, but it makes up for it with its long life.
In the early 1900s, a man named Edmund Bordeaux Szekely found an ancient manuscript about a group of people known as the Biogenic Society that he translated.
This particular group discovered Wheatgrass as a way to incorporate a new and healthier
Since then, the grass had gained popularity for its green appearance and dietary values.
Heath conscious people nowadays can find this type of grass in their favorite health food store.
Advantages & Disadvantages
Learning about the advantages and disadvantages of Wheatgrass can help you determine if it’s a good fit for you. Here’s a list to get you started:
- Provides lots of groundcover
- Drought resistant
- Has strong roots
- Able to grow in sandy surfaces
- Endures all types of weather
- Little maintenance outside of mowing needed
- Does not require much watering
- Some species die very quickly
- It may take longer to establish than other options
- Not all lawns can handle Wheatgrass
- Have to mow very often
- Weeds grow from this grass, making it less appealing to many homeowners
Establishment & Maintenance
As mentioned earlier, Wheatgrass does not require lots of maintenance outside of mowing. If you do not have a lot of time to work in the yard or do not know a lot about nurturing a lawn, then this type could be a good option for you.
Watering, Mowing & Pest Management
It does not take much water to keep your Wheatgrass lawn looking great, which makes things a little easier on you. It will still grow very quickly and grow everywhere. Lots of ground coverage is definitely a perk of going with Wheatgrass.
But because of this high growth rate, regular lawn mowing is required for this type of grass. Wheatgrass is very thin already, so make sure not to cut it too short in order to keep it looking lush.
A few pests have been known to affect Wheatgrass including:
- Black grass bugs
- Stem rusts
- Leaf rusts
The black grass bugs are probably the biggest issue this type of grass faces.
These bugs suck juice from the blades, which leaves them white and yellow.
Unfortunately, there are no pesticides currently available to control them. If using Wheatgrass as feed for livestock, allowing grazing in the field can help to eradicate black grass bugs. The main disease to look out for in Wheatgrass is Smut.
If you’re growing Wheatgrass in a small garden for nutritional purposes, you may want to consider growing it inside away from pests.
Although, fruit flies can become an issue when growing indoors.
One way to combat them is to set up a fan near the Wheatgrass and keep it on low to prevent them from congregating easily in the area. Standard sticky fly tape hanging above the Wheatgrass is also an effective method.
Whether you’re looking for a lush lawn or a healthy snack, Wheatgrass could be just what you’re looking for.