Wheatgrass - Decorative Cereals For Arid Areas Of The Garden. Types, Care, Photos

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Wheatgrass - Decorative Cereals For Arid Areas Of The Garden. Types, Care, Photos
Wheatgrass - Decorative Cereals For Arid Areas Of The Garden. Types, Care, Photos

Video: Wheatgrass - Decorative Cereals For Arid Areas Of The Garden. Types, Care, Photos

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Among the ornamental cereals, there are many plants that can surprise with their talents. One of the main candidates for hardy lawn mixtures is wheatgrass, which is often included in decorative lawns. He can please with his rather large species. Ornamental cereals are one of the most elegant cereals for decorating alpine slides. Beautiful panicles, modest greenery and fresh coloration contrast nicely with other herbs. True, low resistance imposes restrictions on the possibilities of using this plant in garden design.

Ornamental cereals - one of the most elegant cereals for decorating alpine slides and more
Ornamental cereals - one of the most elegant cereals for decorating alpine slides and more

Content:

  • Decorative types of wheatgrass
  • Wheat shops in garden design
  • Growing conditions for wheatgrass
  • Care of grain crops
  • Reproduction of decorative wheatgrass

Decorative types of wheatgrass

Wheat crops for many remain a fodder, lawn and very modest grain. It is true that they can be seen more and more often in the composition of universal lawns, and some producers are developing lawns "for weed control" on the basis of a mixture of different types of wheatgrass.

But do not underestimate this plant as an ornamental cereal. Wheatgrass are characterized by uniquely persistent colors of inflorescences: they turn pale and change only with the approach of autumn. And the ability to re-grow leaves allows the turf not to lose its decorative effect for a much longer period than its main competitors.

Wheatgrass are a fairly extensive genus of the Poaceae family. In nature, they are more common in mountainous and steppe regions. Their endurance is largely due to the habitual stony and dry slopes, which allows the cereal to retain its decorative effect even in a prolonged drought.

But their origin became the reason for the most unpleasant trait of the wheatgrass - the fear of getting wet and waterlogged. You can meet wild wheatgrass in the Crimea and the Caucasus; they are widely represented in the prairies and rocky regions of the USA, Canada, in northern Africa. The name ryechnyki got from the Greek "wild wheat".

Without exception, all wheatgrass are dense grains that are not afraid of competition. Due to the amazing thickness and density of the sod, they are invulnerable even to weeds, and when they grow, they displace them from the territories. For this ability, wheatgrass are considered one of the most valuable additives to lawn mixtures.

Stems are thickened at the base, almost bulbous, in addition to fruiting shoots-peduncles, sterile vegetative shoots with folded leaves are formed. The narrow and tough leaves of wheatgrass change color depending on the light. This is not an aggressive plant that forms beautiful hummocks, but does not displace other cultivated species (in fact, wheatgrass show aggressiveness only in relation to weeds).

The most common type of decorative and wheatgrass is considered wheatgrass comb (Agropyron cristatum), also known as F itnyak Pontic (Agropyron ponticum). It is a perennial, long-lasting, dense turf-forming, medium-sized cereal that looks very attractive both during and before and after flowering.

Each plant forms rosette-bumps about 10 cm in diameter. The leaves are narrow and strikingly tough, so densely arranged that the sod appears almost bristly. In length, narrow blades of grass grow only up to 7 cm. Zhitnyak remains decorative all year round, the leaves winter under the snow, and the young ones refresh the compositions in early spring.

The plant grows its leaves twice: after flowering, leaves begin to grow again and the sod heals itself. The color range of wheatgrass is somewhat atypical for cereals. This plant has a rich, matte dark green color that turns blue or silvery under intense sun. Wheatgrass, depending on the lighting, can be the darkest of the ornamental grasses, and surprise with a metallic texture.

The flowering of wheatgrass is hard to miss. It starts in May. If the plant grows on fertile soils, the flower-bearing stems can grow up to 40 cm in height, on poor soil the plant is slightly more modest. It seems that the number of flower stalks in wheatgrass is almost equal to the number of leaves.

They rise above the turf, striking in their resilience; they never lie down or fall apart, even when grown in windy areas. The color of the shoots repeats the color of the leaves. The shoots are crowned with beautiful dense spikelets, which from afar resemble hare tails, but close up surprise with their ornamental symmetry.

The wheatgrass are characterized by compressed, two-rowed, very dense and complex spikelets with thin membranous edges of spikelet scales and an unbreakable axis. Young spikelets are colored rather dark green. Wheatgrass does not change color until mid-August. With the approach of autumn, the spikelets brighten and repaint in a delicate golden color, which allows the plant to highlight the compositions. Even after the inflorescences ripen, the shoots do not lose their resistance to lodging.

The popularity of the Pontic wheatgrass, largely due to the simplicity of plant cultivation and long-term decorativeness, attracted attention to other promising plant species.

The genus Zhitnyak also includes one of the most annoying enemies of gardeners - creeping wheatgrass. But for the decoration of decorative compositions, it is better to pay attention to other plants:

  • Desert wheatgrass, or Narrow-spiked (Agropyron desertorum, formerly known as Angarsk - Agropyron angarense) is a more powerful species with stems up to 75 cm high, forming a dense sod not only from basal leaves, but also numerous leafy shoots, adorned with large cylindrical spikelets;
  • Fluffy wheatgrass (Agropyron dasyanthum) is a creeping, large species with shoots up to 70 cm, glaucous folded leaves and large ears up to 17 cm, which look quite graceful.
  • Grass leaved - is mainly wheatgrasses comb (Agropyron cristatum), but include lawn mixture and wheatgrass brittle (Agropyron fragile) - plotnodernisty view shoots height of about half a meter and with narrow grayish leaves in a dense derninke against which shine complex thick spikelets up to 5 cm long.
Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum)
Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum)
Desert wheat grass, or Narrow-ear (Agropyron desertorum)
Desert wheat grass, or Narrow-ear (Agropyron desertorum)
Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum)
Crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum)

Wheat shops in garden design

The peculiarities of this ornamental plant make it one of the most highly specialized cereals in the arsenal of landscape designers. Zhytnyaki are used only for decorating rocky gardens, slopes, as well as flower beds with desert plants, in the design of which the method of stony or gravel mulching was used.

Dense sods of wheatgrass look great:

  • on the alpine slides;
  • in rockeries;
  • in flower beds on the slopes;
  • in flower beds with decorative mulching;
  • in rock gardens;
  • decorated in a Mediterranean or Scandinavian style;
  • in succulent gardens;
  • in cereal gardens.

Growing partners can be selected from any plant that prefers similar growing conditions. It is perfectly combined with perennials, and with annuals, and with other grains for alpine slides.

Wheatgrass can be used as a cutting plant for winter bouquets.

Growing partners can be selected from among any plants that prefer similar growing conditions
Growing partners can be selected from among any plants that prefer similar growing conditions

Growing conditions for wheatgrass

Wheat crops can be ranked as light-loving cereals. They grow well in full sun, revealing all the beauty of their colors. In shading, the color darkens, the blue tint is almost not manifested, but still the wheatgrass remains quite decorative and almost does not lose density. The cereal does not tolerate strong shading.

Fear of getting wet, damp, heavy soils requires extremely careful selection of the growing site. It is no coincidence that wheatgrass is recommended to be grown on hills, slopes, in rock gardens or rockeries. It is in the light, stony soil that the wheatgrass thrives. High-quality water and air permeability is a key factor for it.

Wheat grass grows better on fertile soils, loam, sandy loam, clay and sandy soil are suitable for them, subject to correction of heavy soils. They cannot stand even weakly acidic soil. Not neutral, but slightly alkaline soils are preferred.

Planting a wheatgrass does not require any tricks. It is better to add organic fertilizers or a portion of complete mineral fertilizers to the soil before planting. The plant perfectly tolerates planting even when the roots are exposed, it quickly adapts. The wheatgrass are installed in individual pits, dug by the size of seedlings or divisions. Watering is carried out both before and after planting. The recommended distance for planting the wheatgrass is 8-10 cm to create a dense cover and solid spots.

Wheat grass cannot stand even weakly acidic soil
Wheat grass cannot stand even weakly acidic soil

Care of grain crops

In fact, this cereal doesn't need any care at all. It does not require watering or top dressing, it feels great in a drought, does not require cleaning the turf and pruning. For more abundant flowering or acceleration of growth, as well as on poor soil, organic fertilizers can be applied in early spring or autumn (wheatgrass react well to manure) or a single feeding with full mineral fertilizers in a standard dosage. Caring for lawns containing wheatgrass is no different from standard care.

The main thing to take care of when growing grain crops is timely rejuvenation. Over time, like all dense sod grasses, the center of the curtain begins to die off in the wheatgrass. As soon as the plant reduces decorativeness, it is worth separating. There is nothing complicated in this procedure, it is enough to dig out the sod, divide it into several large parts, removing dry areas.

The wheat plants are resistant to pests and diseases.

Wintering of wheatgrass takes place without problems in the south and when planted in drained soil. The plant is very afraid of getting wet, is sensitive to stagnation of water and even excessive moisture, often in the middle lane it deteriorates in winter precisely because of waterlogging. For the winter, it is better to organize a preventive shelter that protects against thaws and dampness, but when the wheatgrass grows on light soil on a hill, such measures will not be needed. In the early years, wheatgrass is not very resistant to unstable winters, it is afraid of alternating thaws and strong frosts, therefore, young plants are mulched for the winter.

Zhitnyak should be rejuvenated in a timely manner to preserve its decorative effect
Zhitnyak should be rejuvenated in a timely manner to preserve its decorative effect

Reproduction of decorative wheatgrass

This cereal can be grown from seeds that are easy to harvest by yourself. Sowing is carried out before winter, seeding the seeds to a depth of about 2.5 cm. Since the seedlings are very shallow, it is better to sow on seedling beds, transferring the wheatgrass to the main growing place only in the third year after sowing.

Separation is rightly considered the simplest way of reproduction of wheatgrass. Considering that the cereal will still need regular rejuvenation, the collection of the plant can be obtained quite quickly. It is possible to separate young wheatgrass before the center of the sod begins to dry out, but it is not advisable to touch sods younger than 3 to 4 years old: the plant must be allowed to build up a sufficient root mass. The optimal time for division is the beginning of autumn.

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