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when to cut back

Posted by kimbra8 Lanc Co Pa z6 (My Page) on
Fri, Oct 31, 08 at 20:33

How do I know which grasses to cut back now or to wait till spring?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: when to cut back

None need to be cut back now and some will definitely resent it. Most deciduous grasses (Miscanthus, panicums, pennisteums, etc.,) develop attractive seedheads that add winter interest to cold climate gardens and attract wildlife, so many (maybe even most) gardeners leave them in place until doing their spring clean up. Contrary to common belief, leaving last season's foliage in place does not add any significant winter protection, so if the grasses are exposed to wind and become too messy you can cut them back at will any time during the winter.

Evergreen grasses like fescues, carex, blue oat grass, etc. should not be cut back - if at all - until new grow begins in spring.


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RE: when to cut back

  • Posted by jake z4b-5 NE (My Page) on
    Tue, Nov 4, 08 at 13:05

I agree w/ gardengal as I never cut my grasses until spring and generally not until I see some new growth on some if not all.

One thing that I have experienced is that any cut grasses do not make for a good mulch, the shards, cuttings, stems, stalks or whatever the term you use these cut parts take forever to decompse if at all.

Not that anyone would really care but I've eliminated or cut down on my number of grass beds to only take 2 pickup loads of orn grass cuttings to the landfill this past year.

Jake


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RE: when to cut back

My pink pampass grass bloomed all summer , it is first yr. but 3 years old, it is cut to the ground ever
Feb. It is about 5 ft. tall , not counting the plumbs.
Happy gardening , caroline


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RE: when to cut back

When would we ideally cut back our m.sinensis ('Zebrinus') ornamental grass? And if so, how short do we cut it? And we divide it for next spring? If so, how and when?

Thanks,

jill


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RE: when to cut back

Jill, the answer to your question is the same as that provided the OP - you don't have to cut it back now, however you can at any time between now and early to midspring if it becomes messy or begins to collapse. Generally, the recommendation is to cut it back to 4-6 inches from the ground when you begin to see new growth emerging. Because Miscanthus is a warm season grass, that could be as late as midspring, when soil and air temperatures warm sufficiently for the plant to resume growth. You would want to divide it at the same time, if dividing is necessary or desired.


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