Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

I have a few grasses in the garden, some like the carex I have given a hair cut to (new C. pressie of topiary shears really good for this job)

I have also cut down my calagmagrostis x acutifolias 'Karl Foerster'. Once i did this I wondered if I was correct.

Before I do anything to the other grass - Stipa Gigantea - I thought I has better check.

The last 2 were planted during last year


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    I only rake out the dead bits on my stipa  but Verdun will know what we should do

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,806

    Easy, evergreen ones should only have dead stuff raked out of them. Deciduous grasses are chopped to the ground, I usually do ours in February, but this year I  did it in October as I got fed up of bits of them blowing all over the place.

    Great thing is, that it really does not matter, they recover whichever way you do it.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    Do you think I could do my miscanthus now Berghill?

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,806

    Well, I have cut down our huge clumps of Miscanthus hybridus at this time of year for the last 10 years without damaging them.


  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    I will then, thank you Berghill. I often end up doing them when they've started their new growth for the year.

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,220

    since seeing it done on an edition of GW, I burn my deciduous grasses in March ( providing they're fairly isolated from other plants ) Do not try this on evergreen grasses or they'll die. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    I won't try it on any of them. Something will die. I have seen whole areas of garden fired, sounds very damaging to wildlife. 

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    That's a pretty comprehensive answer Verdun, thank you.

    My panicums seem to just fall apart at the end of the season ans I clear up with no cutting.

    The Stipa gigantea seems to do OK with neglect, all other stipas have died except Stipa arundinacea which also is neglected, I treat that as a sort of bi/triennial, it seeds about, gets scruffy eventually and I discard the oldest. A bit like Helleborus foetidus.

    I think I'll experiment with the miscanthus, cut some this week and leave the rest for a while. One of them hasn't had last spring's cut yet. 

  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 14,220

    Verdun, have you ever tried sowing Hodeum jubatum from fresh seed in Autumn? I tried some for the first time late August and was amazed by how quickly ,and prolificly they germinated. I was able to get them into 9cm pots and now have them in a cold polytunnel. Well worth a try.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    I must try that Hordeum.

    Verdun, I think S. arundinacea is more suitable for the wilder style of gardening. It suits here.

    I had hoped to just take the shears to the miscanthus, rather than be preserving new shoots. When do the new shoots start?

    Is the plural of miscanthus still miscanthus, or miscanthuses or even miscanthi

  • BerghillBerghill Posts: 2,806


    I do it now so that I can use the hedge trimmers to chop down at ground level. I even do that to the evergreen ones every third year. Easier to do when there are no new shoots appearing.

  • nutcutletnutcutlet Posts: 24,055

    Thanks Berghill

  • SalinoSalino Posts: 1,609

    ..perennial rule breaker here... I chop down my Miscanthus before mid Dec.... I don't like the straw blowing about the garden all winter... I like to see them frosted up a bit in November but after that... chop with shears... this season I dug up the great clump and left it lying around for about a week before dividing and replanting... it'll survive...

    ..other grasses I leave till Spring..haven't got that many...

    I'm awaiting the availability of a new American one called Schizachyrium 'Prairie Munchkin'.... it's a form of buffalo grass I think...I've grown one such type previously but this looks to be something out of the ordinary...

  • FleurisaFleurisa Posts: 779

    Make sure you ALWAYS wear gloves, a cut from grass is not very nice. Do not copy Monty Don and run bare hands through grass!

  • Matty2Matty2 Posts: 4,820

    Thank you for comments all, very helpful and as ever lots of ideas for other grasses to try. So based on  what is said will tidy the lower leaves of the Stipa gigantea but otherwise just let it get on with growing all by itself.

    Pennisetums I have cut back, Thing is everything seems to be in spring mode because of the lack of a cold winter

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