I'm looking to plant a no-maintenance prairie in my desert southwest yard (Northern New Mexico, zone 7B, sand and heavy clay soil, 7 inches of annual rainfall). Two years ago I planted a bunch of Blue Grama and it does well with no irrigation. One year ago I planted Streambank Wheatgrass elsewhere and that does well too, also with no irrigation. Streambank wheatgrass retains a bit more color in the winter, so I'd like to add it to my grass mix when I plant more to fill even more of my large and very sad-looking dirt yard. So my question is: can I plant these two grasses together? Blue Grama is a warm season grass and Streambank Wheatgrass is a cool season grass. Is there any problem with such an arrangement? Will they grow together? Will one dominate and crowd out the other, wasting the money spent on the loser? Will it look stupid in the winter with big weird clumps of green Streambank Wheatgrass amidst the dormant yellow-gray Blue Grama?
I am going to say that there is really no reason not to blend them. Will one out perform the other? Possibly, but then you know you have the variety better suited to the conditions that grass finds itself in.
If you are in full sun then give Buffalo Grass a try (Buchloe Dactyloides) It is fine textured, thrives on almost no water once established, does not need fertilizer, does not need to be MOWED! mature height is about seven inches. And suffers from no pests or diseases. There is a great company called Native American Seed that sells a buffalo (80%) and blue grama(20%) seed mix and in this years catalog they have photos of the stuff thriving in peoples yards all over Texas. The above answer is right, when you mix seed types the one that suits the conditions will generally out perform and dominate. There is also a native shade mix with eight different species in the catalog and it is a 'mixture of cool season and warm season species providing year round cover'. I think that pretty much clears up any doubts. Since 70% of our water use where I live is for irrigation, I really hope this stuff catches on nationwide like it is starting to here in TX.
What a great question. If you like the effect of blue grama in a yard setting, wheatgrass would indeed dilute from it. I have a stand of blue grama, buffalograss and inland saltgrass and love it (pic), and keep wheatgrass and other things out of it. I see mixes around, and they give more of a wild, scruffy, highway roadside effect. Diluted effect. Wheatgrass CAN mix with Sideoats Grama in a compatible way, with similar size and texture. A yard in my neighborhood has more of a mixed effect based on those two, with some shrubs, yucca, and other things thrown in as well. [Pic is mostly blue grama and buffalograss] [Tried to add another pic of Western Wheatgrass & Sideoats Grama]