In the Garden: Ornamental grass season

Published: Oct. 4, 2019 at 4:02 PM EDT
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It's sad to see our flowers fade away in the cold weather, but there is one thing you can plant in your garden that will really shine in the fall, and even the winter. Charlie Nardozzi shows us some beautiful ornamental grasses you can grow.

Sharon Meyer: Charlie, this seems so soft. Does it taste good?

Charlie Nardozzi: It tastes good too Not bad at all. It's ornamental grass season. This is the time of year they really shine, come fall and right through the winter. If you are going to be growing ornamental grasses in our climate, you've got to know two things. One, you want to have the clumping types -- you can see here that they have nice clumps so they don't spread too far.

Sharon Meyer: So they don't get out of hand.

Charlie Nardozzi: Yes, they can get out of hand. The other is, you have to have hardy ones. There are lots of different grasses. You don't want to grow pampas grass here, you want to try to grow some of the hardy ones that are hardy to zone four. So ones like this one, the one you were just fondling nicely. This is the Karl Foerster reed grass and it's a really nice one because it is a clump,. It has these beautiful soft inflorescence that you can cut and bring indoors.

Sharon Meyer: It just adds so much texture outside, I love that.

Charlie Nardozzi: Nice texture, especially in the winter. The wind blows through it. It looks really beautiful. You could try some of the other ones too. There are some that are more delicate, like dropseed. This is a very delicate flower that kind of drops over but it really looks beautiful if you look up close to it. Other ones like little bluestem has some nice coloring in them. And then of course there’s my favorite, the northern sea oats. This one looks like an oat that you eat, but you don’t eat them. And that’s nice because they get up about three-feet tall, another good cut flower. That one will self-sow, so you have to be careful that doesn’t kind of spread all over the place. You want to plant these in full sun, any kind of soil really they tend to like it -- any drained soil -- they can tolerate drought. You can put them on hillsides, you can put them against the road because they are tolerant of road salt. You can put them in your garden. You can put them anywhere where you can enjoy a beautiful grass in the winter.