I am purchasing pots of grasses for our seaside home. When can we plant them outside?


 I am purchasing pots of grasses for our seaside home. When can we plant them outside?


Jonathan Foster, Home Horticulture Outreach Professional

The estimated last frost date for your town is May 2 this year, so you’re very likely to be fine planting then. I will note, for full disclosure, that these dates can’t be guaranteed, but if you keep your eye on the weather forecast when you’re up here, you should have a pretty reliable guide.

For the erosion control, I’ll pass along two resources I often recommend in similar situations: the Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District’s Coastal Planting Guide and the State of Maine’s Buffer Handbook Plant List. They are both full of great information on erosion prevention and how to use relevant plant species in a mitigation strategy. You should also consider reaching out to your local Soil and Water Conservation District to see if they have further advice or resources. Or potentially a local landscape outfit to see if retaining walls or other hardscape architecture might be helpful.

Both Panicum virgatum and Andropogon gerardii are mentioned as excellent options, though I should caution you about the Miscanthus. While Miscanthus sinensis is not considered legally invasive by the State of Maine, a closely related species Miscanthus saccharoflorus is. Morever, there are several states that do categorize M. sinensis as invasive or at least potentially very problematic. I recommend reviewing the Univ of MN’s excellent information guide for consumers on Miscanthus before using, or selecting an alternate species from the Maine resources above.

Best of luck, and happy gardening.