This is How You Do It!

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Need 100 one and a half gallon ornamental grasses planted?  Just put out an "all hands on deck" call to OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers and they get the job done in  less than an hour!   This is exactly what we did in Clark County in order to complete our border planting in the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum (SPGA).  The border consists of more than 4000 daffodil bulbs, a river of daylillies and now Schizachyrium scoparium 'MinnblueA' or Blue Heaven little bluestem.  The idea is that after the spectacular daffodil bloom in the early spring, the bluestem will come up and help to hide the dying daffodil stems.  The daylillies add summer color.  

Blue Heaven little blue stem ready for planting
Preparing for planting


On Wednesday, October 4th, MGVs in Clark County showed up en mass to answer the call and not only planted 100 grasses but mulched them as well in an hour and a half.  With every good plan for a mass planting by volunteers, everything was laid out and ready to go when they arrived.  Instructions were given about how to plant and what to do if you find bulbs in the holes proposed for the blue stem, and how to finish off the planting.  Stay tuned until next season to see this planting mature.

MGVs of Clark County planting
MGVs planting Blue Heaven little blue stem

Blue Heaven little bluestem is an outstanding ornamental grass and one of the top cultivars of little bluestems.evaluated recently by a group of 11 Universities around the country.  It was selected for this particular garden because of it's performance in the trials.  I participated in this research led by Dr. Mary Meyer, Horticulturist at Minnesota State University.  Participators evaluated all of the cultivars of little blue stem and switch grass that was on the market beginning in 2013 in this three year study. Results of the trial will be published in the next Journal of Hort Technology.  More information about the results of the grass trials can be found at


Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum is a new project for the MGVs of Clark County and is in it's 3rd year of development.  We have five gardens established and have plans to eventually develop 25 acres of a former golf course.  This unique project is in partnership with the local parks district, National Trails Parks and Recreation.  When their board determined that the golf course should be closed for financial reasons, they invited OSU Extension and the Master Gardener volunteers to move their gardens to this site.  It's an amazing opportunity for our program and for us to teach about horticulture.

Field trials in the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum
Field trials planted at the Snyder Park Gardens and Arboretum

For more information about SPGA go to