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Ornamental Grasses

Shropshire, United Kingdom Gb

I introduced 12 ornamental grasses and one Phormium to my garden last year and have been pleased with the display. Should I trim all of these down to allow new shoots to appear, or just leave the whole plant as it is?



Phormiums leave alone
Evergreen grasses remove only dead flowering stems and comb out the old leaves.
Deciduous grasses cut the the ground about now.
Wear gloves the dried blades can and do inflict very nasty cuts, My little finger is suffering and that was through the glove!

20 Feb, 2009


Thank you so much Owdboggy, for your quick and helpful reply. This has helped me a lot. I shall get out there now, as the sun is shining, and get to work on them.

21 Feb, 2009


I have spent two days doing about a sixth of ours. I shred the stems as they do not seem to rot otherwise. We use the shreddings as hen bedding then mix it with grass cuttings and that way we get lovely compost from them.

21 Feb, 2009


Good idea about the hen bedding. I shall pass this tip onto my friend, who keeps hens, as she buys in their bedding and this has become more expensive, like everything nowadays. I am always looking at ways to recycle and have become quite a squirrel hoarding all sorts of items which may become useful.

22 Feb, 2009


Hi Owdboggy,

Could you tell me what you "comb" your grasses with? I tried this with a wire rack but found this cumbersome and too large for the job.

24 Feb, 2009


I use a lawn rake or even an ordinary rake. Do not worry if you pull out a lot of fronds, as long as the roots stay then there is not a problem.
I have cut down about half our grasses now and shredded the fronds. So far I have filled 25 x 80 litre bags and there is still a long way to go. The worst grass for cutting down is the big Miscanthus whose name I can never remember nor spell, but it means 'like a Sugar cane'. I use the chain saw to cut through the stems before shredding. Hard back breaking work.

24 Feb, 2009


Thanks for a quick reply, this has helped me a lot. Wow you must have a lot of grasses and a large garden to look after with the amount of bags you are filling with all the shredded grasses remnants. I will be adding to my collection this year as I think they are a great addition to the structure of the garden.

25 Feb, 2009


The Daisy Lawn which is where most of the grasses live is about 20 metres long by 15 metres wide. Cut down another part today, but not shredded. Tomorrow hopefully I will finish!
The whole section is going to be weed killed and replanted with trees and shrubs. I like the big grasses but I am no longer fit enough to maintain this section, it is too high maintainance now.
Watch out though, if you make a bed fit for grasses then it is fit for ALL grasses including couch and that is almost impossible to remove from in and under the ornamentals!

25 Feb, 2009


Looks like you have a mammoth job on there Owdboggy, good luck with the new planting. I only have small grasses grouped in mixed shrub/flower borders. This time of the year they add interest and "float" in the breeze. I have a large pond so the shorter grasses around the edges look good. I have been battling couch grass (and bindweed) in my garden for the past 21 years, so I am no stranger to the wretched grass. I have just come in from the garden and have removed lots, but it will still flourish. Don't overdo the cutting and shredding.

26 Feb, 2009

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