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Switch Grass

Switch Grass



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Product Description

Switchgrass – Panicum virgatum L.

Switchgrass is a versatile perennial warm season grass native to nearly all of the United States excluding only the Pacific Northwest and California. This grass features a distinctive white patch at the base of the leaf as it attaches to the stem making it easily recognizable. The leaves have a bluish cast that can reach up to 2 feet long. It is a sod forming grass with a round reddish stem. An open spreading panicle helps to identify the seed head. Soil test prior to seeding is recommended to determine whether phosphorus and potassium are necessary. Nitrogen is not recommended before planting as it may encourage weed growth but may be warranted after it begins to produce. It is best not to add fertilizer to switchgrass since too much fertilizer can harm the plants. If the ground needs fertilizing then add the fertilizer before planting to protect the plants. They also do not need to be treated with pesticides or herbicides since weeds and pest do not pose a threat. The only real threat to switchgrass seedlings is grasshoppers. Dusting with plain, all purpose flour will deter the grasshoppers without harming the plants. Sprouting takes about 5 to 7 day reaching 14 to 20 inches tall within 8 weeks. In upland areas, it grows an average of 3 to 5 feet tall producing 1 to 4 tons per acre. In lowland areas, it grows up to 12 foot tall producing 5 to 8 tons per acre. Switchgrass adapts well to differing climates, soils, and rainfall making it ideal for protection against soil erosion. The good thick bed is also perfect for grazing livestock and wildlife. Testing is going on in many areas as to the suitableness for a bio-fuel source. Burning switchgrass fields every 3 to 5 years will have stimulate growth as well as control weeds and residue.

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