sow veld

Sow some veld

Ornamental veld grasses are a big part of modern prairie gardens, but sowing them is not something you would normally think of doing. Think again, because from high summer and going well into winter, plants will be bearing lusty seed plumes full of seeds that can be used to make more plants. Ampelodesmos mauritanica (Mauritania vine-reed) growing in Tanya’s garden caught her eye, and when she touched its plumes the seed clung to her hands, so she decided to sow it.

What you need to sow your veld:

  • Gathered seed heads
  • Moist palm peat
  • A seed-raising tray
  • A watering can with a rose
  • A plant propagator (optional, but handy, and available at www.tanyavisser.com)

What to do to sow your veld:

  1. Fill the tray with palm peat and softly tamp it down.
  2. Gently rub the grass seeds loose from the seed head and drop them thinly onto the soil medium. Cover with a thin layer of peat and press it down.
  3. Water with a soft rose spray, and add a plant label.
  4. Place the tray into the propagator or cover with a sheet of glass.
  5. Keep in a warm, well-lit position. Regularly check that the soil medium is damp – it must remain so until germination.
  6. When the seedlings are big enough to handle, pot them on in clumps to harden off.
The Gardener