February 2023 - Blue Gama Grass

Blue GamaBlue Grama Grass, Bouteloua gracilis, can be found throughout the United States, from the northern plains to Mexico and into California as well. It’s a foundational prairie grass of the great plains. Buffalo and livestock love grazing on it. Blue Grama roots deeply from a foot to a foot and a half below the soil surface, making it an excellent choice for bank stabilization and erosion control. It will go dormant during extended dry periods but can be cut back close to the soil to minimize fire hazards. Since it’s adapted to hard grazing, it can be mowed back aggressively. Blue Grama takes a moderate amount of water to establish but adapts quickly and does not need much supplemental irrigation after it puts its roots down. Our area's late winter into springtime are excellent times to plant Blue Grama. This very hardy perennial grass makes a great lawn substitute or wild meadow and is effective for erosion control. It also produces attractive ‘eyelash’ flowers for floral arrangements. For more information on Blue Grama Grass and other plants, please visit Water Smart Gardening in Santa Cruz County.