Landworks Landscaping Company knows that ornamental grass is a great addition to just about any landscape. Graceful ornamental grass clumps add delightful texture and interest to the garden in all seasons, they are incredibly easy to care for and there are hardy ornamental grass varieties suitable for any climate. Spring will soon be here – and Landworks has tips for cutting back ornamentals.
Questions people often have about ornamental grass are “When should the grass be cut back?” along with “How is it done?” There are several opinions about when ornamental grass should be cut back once it flowers and becomes dry, and about as many opinions on how it should be done.
One thing you need to know before cutting back the dry, dead stems of ornamental grass is whether the grass is a cool season or warm season grass. If you don’t know what particular variety of ornamental grass is in your yard, observing its growth habits will tell you whether it is a cool season or warm season grass. Landworks Landscaping Company can determine and take care of what kind of grass you have in your yard.
The spent flowers and seedheads of ornamental grass, along with the dried foliage, can add interest to the landscape throughout winter. Although the dead foliage of either cool season or warm season grasses could be cut back in late fall, many gardeners enjoy the beauty of the foliage throughout winter.
Unless the plant becomes too shabby over winter, trimming back the dead stems of cool season ornamental grass can wait until the first balmy, late winter or very early spring day. As soon as any snow melts and the ground begins to thaw, cool season grasses should be cut back. Waiting too long risks damaging the new shoots that will begin to emerge as soon as the weather begins to shift toward spring. Cut back cool season grasses so about a third of last year’s growth remains. Be careful to not cut back a cool season ornamental grass too far, as this can seriously harm the plant.
Resist the temptation to burn off the dead foliage of a cool season grass, as this will also damage the growing tips. Don’t worry that these remaining dried stems will be unsightly, because the bright new spring growth will soon hide it nicely.
Warm season grasses can be left standing later into the spring while you take care of more urgent gardening tasks. Providing you don’t wait so long that the new foliage is already emerging, warm season grasses can be cut back to the ground. If you can already see some new green growth emerging as you prepare to trim the plant, just cut above it, being careful to not damage the new growth, otherwise all season long the plant will look like it has a crew cut.
Ask a dozen landscaping company experts and they’ll give you a dozen different methods for cutting back ornamental grass. Some suggest using a hedge trimmer, others say a grass trimmer with a blade rather than a nylon line will do the job effectively. Landworks Landscaping Company’s lawn services can do the job for you, along with many other services.
Any of those tools will work fine, but adding one more step will make the task, and the cleanup afterwards, much easier. Tie a rope or wrap a bungee cord or two around the ornamental grass clump before cutting the dead foliage. Tie or wrap the grass fairly tight about two feet up from ground level, and then cut below the rope or bungee cord. Not only will this make the grass easier to handle as you cut it, but the entire bundle can then be carried away in one neat package.