Ornamental grass adds something to the garden all year round, but spring is the time to clear out what was left behind from last summer and get the new grass ready for the year. Ornamental grass varieties are hardy plants that make their care easy, but with some quick maintenance you can really have them, and the beds they call home, looking their best. March through June are the best times for trimming, pruning and clearing out grass, but it can also, and should be done, throughout the growing season.
Use these simple tips to help you cleanup your ornamental grass and improve the beds they are planted in.
Cut Back Grass
Whether you are more comfortable with cutting or pulling, ornamental grass should be cut back in the spring to allow for the new growth to come in without any obstructions. This also keeps everything looking good and green when you want only new growth coming through. Depending on when you get to the task, and whether a grass is a cool or warm season grass, you should cut the grass about an inch above the ground, leaving enough growth for you to be able to distinguish one plant from another. If you get to the grass later in the season, dead blades can be pulled out from between the growing ones.
Add Soil and Mulch
Spring is a great time to add new soil and mulch to beds that have experienced erosion with snow melt. Grasses are very drought tolerant and do best in well drained soil, so make sure that your soil is prepared to support your grass through the growing season. Add new soil with organic compost to the garden beds around your grass and top that with a new layer of mulch around but not in the space where your new grass will grow.
Divide Large Plants
Every two to three years grass needs to be divided, especially when they are growing in a smaller space with no more room for expansion. Dividing grass keeps the roots and blades healthy and looking good because there is less competition and you reduce the number of brown blades. Divide in the spring, when new grass is not in the middle of fast growth. Cut blades down first and then use a sharp shovel to dig up grass below the roots and cut into the clump. Replant new grass divisions and water well.
Special thanks to Sophie Sanchez for sharing her gardening knowledge with this guest post!