- A Drought-resistant Turf Grass -
ORIGIN: An improved native sod-forming
wheatgrass collected near Canyon City, Grant County, Oregon, in an area of
approximately 12 inches annual precipitation. It was released in 1954 by the
Soil Conservation Service and the Idaho and Washington Agriculture Experiment
DESCRIPTION: Although commonly called Streambank
has excellent drought tolerance. Its short growth form, vigorous sodding
ability, narrow, lax leaves, seedling vigor, and longevity contribute to its
excellence as an erosion control plant. It produces numerous stems and seed
heads during the first two to three years, until it becomes fully sodded;
thereafter seed head formation practically stops. It establishes easily from
seed and does not become a weed. Mature plants are easily killed by normal
ADAPTATION AND USE: Sodar wheatgrass was selected and released as a
special use grass for erosion control seedings within the semi-desert or better
soil zones and on irrigated lands. Forage yields are very low, so it doesn't
attract wildlife. It establishes and produces a good sod in areas with 6 inches
or more rainfall. Soil adaptation ranges from shallow to deep, moderately coarse
to fine textured, and moderately saline to slightly acidic. Once established, it
provides an excellent barrier to weed invasions. It can be used on airport
interspaces, road rights-of-way, fence rows, ditch and canal banks (lined and
unlined), reservoir embankments, non irrigated playgrounds, farmyards, and as a
cover crop in windbreaks and orchards. Its use in waterway seedings has not been
consistent; many seedings have washed out prior to establishment. Sodar is
crowded out if the site is too wet.
SEEDBED: A good, firm, weed-free seedbed is essential to the full
success of the seeding. Most areas left bare following construction are
weed-free and can be seeded in the late fall or early the first spring following
construction. It can be planted at other times with irrigation, though
germinates better in cool weather.
SEEDING: For lawns, seed 3 pounds per 1000 square feet. For large
areas, seeding rates of 10 pounds per acre have been satisfactory. If broadcast
at 10 pounds per acre, there are 40 seeds per square foot. Non irrigated
seedings in the 12 inches or less precipitation zone should be done in late fall
by drilling. Spring seedings establish well in the better moisture zones, or if
irrigated. If a drill cannot be used, the seed may be broadcast and raked or
harrowed in. Depth of planting should not exceed 1 inch.
MANAGEMENT: New seedings should be given full protection until
completely established and a minimum stubble height of 3 to 4 inches maintained
thereafter. Do not spray with 2, 4-D until the plants have 6 or more leaves.
Nitrogen applied at 20-40 pounds per acre will aid establishment on low
fertility sites in the 8-inch or better precipitation zones.
information supplied by National Resource Conservation Service.