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Mar24

Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

Categories // Dig In, Tips

Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

Grasses are great for the beauty they provide all winter long. 

Come late winter it's time to cut them back to get ready for spring growth.

For those of you with well-established plants, this can be a challenge. You don't wait too long because the cool season grasses will be starting to grow come the first and second week of April. Once that happens it makes it much harder to trim them back.

Here are a few tips to make this task fun and easy. If you have two people it can go pretty quickly. Get a pair of hedge trimmers. Pruners will work as well, but it will take longer. Have one person hold the clump of grass together so it makes a solid bundle at the base. The other can then use the hedge trimmers to start cutting off the grass at about 6" or lower to ground.

If it's only you, it's no problem. Get some twine and use it to tie up your grasses first. Bundle the clump about midway off the ground. After, go back with your hedge trimmers and cut it off below the twine. Nice thing about twine is that it keeps the mess down and makes for easy transport to the compost pile if you have one.

Funny story, one year Bud was in a hurry and decided to try the 'Bud method'. Instead of bundling and trimming he thought it would be quicker to simply burn the grass off as if we were pioneers on the big open prairie. That year he caught the pine tree on fire; another year it was the fence. Sometimes it takes us LeFevre's a couple go-rounds before the lesson sticks.

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Dixon, IL

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