(light music) -[John White] I’m John White. And today
we’re gonna be talking about ornamental grasses. And ornamental grasses are a growing thing in
the gardening trade, it’s becoming very popular.
So, we’re gonna talk about some of the varieties and
how to care for some of those ornamental grasses here in the
southern part of the state. And with me today is Jackye Meinecke. Jackie, welcome to
Southwest Yard and Garden. – [Jackye Meinecke] Hi John, how are you today? – Good, let’s talk a
little bit about first, how do we care for ornamental
grasses when we have one? – Most of the ornamental
grasses are not native to this part of the world. There are a few and we’ll
talk about those later, but the ones that are not native need to be on a drip system. They need watered two
or three times a week, a nice good soak. And then
at the end of the season, they’ll do their blooms, you can leave em through the fall and the
winter. And in the spring, go back in and cut em up to
about six or eight inches, so that all this nice
new growth can come out and all of the old dead
stuff is covered up. – Okay, cause I know that’s a question a lot of people always have is how much to cut em back or whether to cut em back and what time of year to cut em back. So you want to cut em back right before they put hteir spring growth on. – Right before the spring growth. I usually wait til I see
a little bit of green down at the bottom. And when you’ve
seen that green, you’ll know, ah it’s time, let’s get out
there and cut the grasses. – Okay, well let’s go take
a look at some grasses and talk about some of the varieties that do good in the area. Jackye, this is a real colorful grass, what is this? – [Jackye] This is everyone’s favorite, this is called Regal Mist. And it’s a muhlenbergia,
which is not native to the area but very drought
tolerant and adaptive. It’s one of the ones I was
talking about that needs the regular water. But,
the payoff in the fall is well worth the investment. – [John] Not particularly
showy in the spring but right now is its prime. – [Jackye] It is the prime right now. The rest of the year it’s
just kind of a green hammock in the garden bed. – [John] And again, as this
head begins to dry out, it’ll start to lose a
little bit of its color. And then as you said,
leave it during the winter and then zip it back down in the spring. – [Jackye] That’s correct. – [John] Okay, let’s go take a
look at another muhlenbergia. Jackye, this one’s also real
colorful, what’s this one? – [Jackye] This grass
is also a muhlenbergia, and it’s called Nashville. This is one of the smaller
ones, it only gets about two and a half feet by two and a half feet, so it’ll fit in any garden bed. – [John] A good size
for an average city lot. – [Jackye] Yeah, this
one is very workable. This one is showing off
with all this nice wind. The magic of the grasses,
between the light in the back where the light changes all the time and the nice gentle movement, this is what makes them fun to have in the garden. – [John] Okay, that’s a pretty one. Let’s take a look at another muhlenbergia. – [Jackye] We can do that. – [John] Jackye, this grass
has a very symmetrical look to it, what’s this one? – [Jackye] This one is
our Deergrass. And this is one of the native muhlenbergia,
so it’s gonna require a little less water to be so beautiful. It’s a nice soft look,
it will soften the rocks or the harder native plants. – [John] I guess some of
the yards where we have the big Pampus grass and stuff, this one doesn’t take up the
room that a Pampus grass would. So it works real good in smaller yards. – [Jackye] This is
pretty much its full size, so it will always work
better in a smaller location. -[John] And in a large location, of course, you can plant three or five of em and have kind of a mass look to it. They do look great with boulders, you know rocks, so really a good plant to use on a landscape. Let’s take a look at one more. Jackye, this one looks like
one of our native grasses. – [Jackye] That’s right,
John, this is a native grass. It’s called Purple
Three-Awn, and it grows wild along the roadside throughout
southern New Mexico. It’s very drought
tolerant once established and requires little water at all, but it still blends very well
with our native wildflowers. – [John] It is a little bit past its prime, so we’ve lost a little bit
of the purple color on it. But you can kind of see
from the shape of it, it is a very interesting–
again, a native grass so you’re using less water. It’s a native, so it is
a good grass for the area. – [Jackye] Very good. – Jackye, this looks like
a real fine bladed grass, what’s this one? – [Jackye] This is called Thread Grass very much as it is fine bladed. It’s one of our natives,
it stays quite small, so it’ll fit in the flowerbeds
with the other flowers. The difference between this
one and some of our other natives is this one blooms in the spring. So all the seedheads have
already been cut off of this one to have this beautiful fun shape. – [John] I guess it’s also–some people call it Stipa just by it’s scientific name, Stipa grass. – [Jackye] Stipa grass,
and it’s also sometimes called Ponitails because of
the way the seedheads knot and make ponitails. – And this is also one
that will turn brown in the winter and we’ll cut
it back and have it regrow? – Yes. – Okay. Well kind of to sum up some of the grasses that we’ve looked at, most
of the ornamental grasses are warm season grasses
so they are gonna die out during the, or not die out, they’re gonna
turn brown during the winter. But we still have a nice
look to them, even though they do not have green color with them. – Yes, we get the lovely fall color and then they hold the
heads through the fall and have a nice soft kind of
golden look til it gets cold. – And some of the grasses
we looked at are native and some aren’t, so we still
need to put water on em. They do respond to a
little bit of fertilizer, but not over-fertilizing them. – Definitely not over-fertilizing
any of the grasses. – Okay Jackye, thank you
very much for being with us on Southwest Yard and Garden. – [Jackye] Thank you. (light music)