Gardening: cut ornamental grasses correctly in spring

February 25, 2016 — by MCutts0

Cutting ornamental grasses – new look in the new year.

In spring it is time to give the grasses a new hairstyle. But why not until spring?
There are mutliple reasons for this. The most important thing is that many ornamental grasses form clumps at the top and bottom and the dried stalks provide a certain protection against the cold over the winter. Life takes place in the root and the should be protected from snow and ice by the upper vegetation.

Reason two is purely aesthetic in nature. The grasses with their seed heads and flowers from last year still look very decent, especially when they glisten in the snow with hoarfrost. The plant has none of this, because the stalks have long since died. It is the same with reason three, which has simply practical meaning. You don’t even have to cut part of the grass in spring, because the old stalks are easy to pluck.

Now the question arises whether there is a rule of thumb as to where to cut down to. There are, but as usual, we do not give centimeters, but depend on the plant itself. With pluckable grasses, the question is unnecessary, because if you have removed all the dead material, it is inherently perfect. The other grasses are only cut so deep that you cannot see a green core inside the new grass shoots.

The dead leaf remnants of the previous year are still rolling around the very first leaf shoot that will appear. These are several layers, and this is exactly how the new drive is laid out. If you cut into the already formed green, you cut off the new tip. It can then happen that this tip sprouts brown and stays brown, even if it has grown several centimeters. Depending on the type of ornamental grass and the time of pruning, this ‘can’ not have to happen. Testing she her Grass out once and you know it forever!

But even if a tip turns brown, it is not dramatic. You can cut it out later and the grass doesn’t bother you at all. The shape that is cut also depends on the plant. Usually a hemisphere comes out, but older grasses can also spread out to form a flat carpet. It is only important to know that as much dead plant material can be extracted as possible without damaging the possible new shoots in the core. Then you are always right.

Gapt garden consultant: We recommend manual hedge trimmers for cutting shapes.



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