Bountiful Landscapes & Consulting
Transforming People & Places to Create Vibrant Health & Beautiful Outdoor Spaces
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.
A Permaculture approach to design.
Step 1 - Draw a simple map of the elements affecting your yard. Here's an example:
Step 2 - Identify potential planting areas for flowers & veggies - they can be integrated together!!
Step 3 - Note the location & type of trees, shrubs and other plants you have in your yard that come back year after year.
Review the different Layers of a landscape to help with planning.
REMEMBER to FILL the planting beds to help retain water!!
Then, add in unique landscape features to suit your personality!
Have fun with different design ideas. Ask yourself, do you like a "tidy" or "messy" style?
Enjoy watching it all grow!!!
Do you have a Salmon habitat? Find out with the fun map below!!
Puget Sound, as shown in SalmonScape, a GIS-based interactive map
Pampas Grass - The King of Grassy plants,!
This showy display in the late fall gives color and animation to an otherwise dreary season. The colorful plumes sway in the wind and later disappear to expose the large evergreen mound until spring arrives.
The stately appearance of this fast-growing plant can get quickly out of hand in size, growing 10-15 feet tall and spreading 6 to 10 feet wide. This is perfect when used on a border or as a main landscape feature, but will become impossible to divide or move without a backhoe, so choose the location wisely.
Plant Sedges in wet areas - great for a Rain Garden!
Drought-tolerant additions for a resilient landscape!
Accent with these perennial grasses to add texture and color year-round!
Too many people trim their grassy plants during fall clean-up - potentially killing them.
Prune perennial grasses in the Spring!
Ideally, water that falls from the sky would go into the ground and nourish the plant life. The perfect balance. However, this is increasingly rare, especially in cities. As populations grow, construction methods are such that ground clearing removes the porous layers that would absorb surface water. Piping and ditch systems are created that “collect and send” water to another location. In storms, these systems become over-taxed and cannot handle the volume and flow of water. Flooding can, and frequently does, occur. Rural areas are better, but compact ground, hilly terrain, clay layers and subsurface hardpan keep water from infiltrating into that ground too, the result being mucky muck in the winter and hard-as-a-rock clay in the summer. Neither allow water to infiltrate. To get the water into the ground is to make the ground more absorbable. A very popular, inexpensive and relatively easy way to do this is with recycled cardboard. Cardboard works because it prevents photosynthesis so weeds don’t grow, it helps absorb & retain moisture, and the cardboard decomposes and adds ‘fluff’ to the hard ground, making space for water to ‘go in.’ I have used this method for more than a decade, in muck and clay, with great success. Here’s a really good example of how to do it.
This Sheet Mulching example is courtesy of the Snohomish Conservation District