Beach Grass – Ammophila breviligulata
Vans American Native Beach Grass
Our native beach grass is established on the shores of the lakes throughout the great lakes basin from Duluth Minnesota to Buffalo New York. When we first started transplanting beach grass in the 1950’s, we harvested the grass from dunes near the Lake Michigan shoreline. As demand grew for grass we established our own field beds. We now have about 10 acres which we harvest on a 2 or 3 year cycle. Generally 2 growing seasons produces the quantity and quality of culms we need for our customers. The younger nursery plants are more vigorous and with better survival rates than the larger older mother plants. Because the younger plants also produce more daughter plants, they usually establish continuous coverage of the dune area sooner.
Overall nursery produced beach grass is more vigorous than those collected from old stands. Vans American Native Beach grass can be planted on the northern one half of the Atlantic coast and has been planted successfully on the Pacific NW coast. This green variety grows up to 3 feet high.
Vans ‘Cape’ American Beach Grass
Vans ‘Cape’ American Beach Grass was selected out from natural stands on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The USDA, thru its plant materials center, managed by the NRCS at Cape May, New Jersey, spent many years developing the ‘Cape’ selection using the comparative observation evaluation process. After the testing and evaluation the selected grass was released to the public thru commercial nurseries under the name of ‘Cape” in recognition of its place of origin. We started propagating the ‘Cape’ selection in 1973 and got our starter ‘Cape’ plants from the Cape May plant material center. While the ‘Cape’ selection was specifically developed for the Atlantic coast from Maine to North Carolina it also grows vigorously in the Great Lakes basin.
This variety is blue-green and salt tolerant. A robust plant with a fast growth rate and rapid spread, this hefty plant reduces wind velocity near the ground – good for erosion control on low fertility, sandy soils.
Planting Season for Beachgrass
Fall planting is the best time to establish Beachgrass. Fall planting season in West Michigan begins around October 15th and goes through soil freeze up.
Spring is the second-best time to establish Beachgrass. Spring planting season in West Michigan runs from March to around May 15th. We do not warranty Beachgrass planted after May 15th as the weather often is hot and dry.
In Spring, the grass is dormant at harvest and all the life of the grass is in the root stolens. Blades of the grass usually emerge 3 to 4 weeks after planting. Always plant 10 inches or more deep so the grass can survive a dry, hot summer.
|Location Type||Plant Spacing||Plants per 1,000 Sq. Ft.|
|High Erosion Areas||6 in. x 6 in.||4,000|
|Flat or moderate slopes||12 in. x 12 in.||1,000|
|Flat, NO wind or water erosion||18 in. x 18 in.||500|