Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ornamental Grass Maintenance

Looks like winter has released his frozen hold, at least temporarily. The past couple of days have seen temperatures in the 50's, so where does that find me? In the garden! I snow-shoveled the driveway edge scrapings into the compost pile, scooped up soggy leaves from the patio, and cut down some bedraggled perennials, including my ornamental grasses.

The pennesitum, chasmanthium, miscanthus, panicum, etc, serve the garden well for 3 seasons. But come early spring, they must be lopped off. Grab your hedge shears (not your pruners, you'll give yourself carpal tunnel!) and hack away. It helps if you hoist up a big handful, then cut. Put the leavings in the compost pile. It'll make the pile huge, but they will break down in a couple months. Be sure to rake the bed & lawn after your work session, so stray strands of grass don't blow all over the neighborhood.

Once clipped, your ornamental grasses will look denuded, and your yard will seem suddenly exposed. But rest assured, in a month, new green spears of grass will be peeking up from the stubbly mess you left behind.

And the cycle will start anew.......

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