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This has got to be my BIGGEST pet peeve in gardening.....
And you wonder why grass plants die.
Think of grass plants like hair
It grows from the roots, but people always cut it like it grows from the ends!!! UGH
Many want to trim their wildly growing grasses during the "clean-up" time in the fall. You can - but not like this!
If you can wait, prune in February, just before spring growth. But, if you must do it in the fall, follow these tips!
I like late fall pruning of my grassy plants because it gives them time for new growth before the heavy rains come. AND, it tames the wild!
August 1st - BEFORE
Yes, cut all the way to the ground!
If the weather is still hot, give them some water. They will start regrowing right away!
September 12th - AFTER
To trim during the fall "clean-up"
Use: Sharp, Clean Tools!!! Thick gloves and a bungee cord or string to tie the plant up for easier cutting.
1. Use loppers first for larger cuts, then use pruners for shaping or smaller cuts.
2. Prune as close to the ground as possible. The lower to the ground, the sooner the new growth will appear.
3. To clean up smaller or evergreen grassy plants (fescue or oatgrass), Run your gloved hand through the plant, combing to remove dead leaves. Trim away dead undergrowth. Use this method for sedges as well. You can prune these plants the same as grasses, but they only need it about every 3 years.
I find that when I trim & divide in the late summer or early fall, the plants have time to start regrowing before the dormancy period. Then, in the spring, it comes back at just the right size to start the growing season!
If your grass plant or sedge has gotten too big, first, trim as above. Then divide it either in half or in quarters with a shovel. Just dig right into it, you won't kill it. They are hardy!!!!! Replant the sections to expand your gardens!
Are they Dead??
I see lots of plants that look like this! Either they are dead or they will come back unhealthy! This is beacuse the new growth that wants to come up from the root isn't getting enough light.
Trim in late winter
1. Cut back early enough before they start growing in the spring - before you see any green from the root.
2. Cut off as much dead growth as possible - to have a nice clean appearance during the summer.