Thursday, February 19, 2009

Cutting Back Ornamental Grasses

Every spring here at this old farm it's the same old story. When it's time to tidy up the gardens after the winter wind, snow and rain, I'm looking for shortcuts, I'm game for anything that whittles down the time it takes to get things done around this place. I don't trim back my ornamental grasses in the fall because I like the winter interest they provide, and of course the birdies like the seed heads. But when it's time to cut the grasses back, that's late Feb - early March here in the Northwest, they're pretty ratty and messy...quite frankly it looks like somebody threw a bale of hay into a giant blender and sprinkled it over my yard.
This time I thought I'd take a tip from another gardener and use tape to hold the clumps together before I got out the hedge trimmer and whittled away at the base of the plant. The idea was that instead of the grasses falling all over like pixie sticks they would be contained in a nice upright stack.

Yah...whatever. The tape kept breaking while I was trying to gather the bundles, so then I switched to string, not a whole lot of success there either.
So...we're back to the old tried and true grass rodeo. I wrap my arms around the clump, The Husband slices through the base with the hedge trimmer and tries not to nick my ankles or slice through the cord of the trimmer.

Here's a clump bundled with string,

and another bundled with painters tape.

Maybe next year I'll come up with the perfect solution...but for now it looks like we'll just stay with the old tried and true method of "hug and hack".
Anybody else out there have a good idea?


quilly said...

Can of gasoline and a match?


Lori said...

I remember you talking about your grass last year. A little happy bubble went off inside because it means that even though we got pummeled with snow this morning, Spring is whispering to me.

And soon, I will be seeing your lovely flowers!

Carletta said...

Actually, my Hubs took a match and burnt a row of ours last year. I was afraid they wouldn't come back but they did. We aren't cutting them back this year.