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Monday - August 16, 2010

From: Austin, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Grasses or Grass-like
Title: Planting Muhlenbergia rigens in Austin
Answered by: Barbara Medford

QUESTION:

I have a question about when I can plant Deer Muhly (AKA Muhlenbergia Rigens). It's pretty hot now, but I would like to know how much it needs to cool down before I can plant these grasses?

ANSWER:

Muhlenbergia rigens (deergrass) is native to Austin, as shown in this USDA Plant Profile map. From the Sonoma County (CA) Master Gardeners, we found this article on Muhlenbergia rigens. This, of course, is dealing with it from a California perspective, but the general advice would be the same. Here is an extract from that article concerning seeding:

"Deer grass seed can be started in flats in May and then put in the ground in early Fall. After a few years, established plants can be divided during winter months, using a sharp spade, and transplanted elsewhere.  Deergrass is available (as noted above, generally in 4” or 1 gallon containers) at many local nurseries, especially those with good selections of grasses or natives, such as Emerisa Gardens in Santa Rosa, Mostly Natives in Tomales and Cottage Gardens in Petaluma."

Usually, the advice given about planting grasses in Texas is to plant them in early Spring, because that is when they are going to germinate anyway. It would be more reliable to use the method suggested above, of planting the seeds in flats, and then putting the sprigs in the ground in the Fall. 

We went to our National Supplier's Directory, typed "Austin TX" in the "Enter Search Location" box and got this list in the area of native plant seed suppliers, nurseries and consultants. All of these have contact information. Your best bet is to contact them and find out who has the seed. They should be able to answer your questions about where and when to plant those seeds. Many of them supply mail order service, and can tell you about how many seeds you need to cover a certain area. 

From our Native Plant Image Gallery:

 

 

 

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