Dactylis glomerata. Also known as Cock's-foot and Cat Grass, this tall perennial bunching tussock grass thrives in the cool season, and tolerates shade, drought, and the heat of summer. It is one of the finest silage grasses, producing very high quality hay. It is considered by many to be one of the finest for animal forage, with its very fine texture and apparent good flavour (and high sugar content) at the immature stage. If it is tilled under, Orchard Grass is an excellent source of carbon and organic matter, so it makes a great cover crop for fall or early spring applications. Left to grow, Dactylis can reach a height of 140cm (55"). It is long-lived and fast growing, producing faster re-growth in summer than Timothy Grass. Sow at a rate of 4.5kg (10 lbs) per acre, or mix 2.5kg (5 lbs) orchard grass with 4.5kg (10 lbs) crimson clover per acre.
Orchard Grass is the food plant of choice for many butterfly caterpillars.
Cloud Grass, a species of bentgrass, forms a diaphanous hazy mist in late summer when its delicate, tiny flowers spread out in all directions. It is useful to know some tips on how to grow cloud grass.
Exposure: Full sun to partial shade
Start seeds indoors 4-6 weeks before planting out. Or direct sow in early spring, when soil is cool and a light frost is still possible. It can also be planted in late autumn.
Just cover the small seeds. At a temperature of 10-12°C (50-55°F) seeds should germinate in 21 to 25 days.
Transplant after last frost into average, well drained soil. Space plants 15-20cm (6-8″) apart. Feed regularly and don’t let the soil become completely dry. Keep an eye on the flowering stage and cut the stems for drying before the seeds set in order to prevent self-sowing. The flower stems are spectacular when dried and will last for months. Cut them and hang them upside-down in a dark, airy place until fully dried.