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chopping down ornamental grasses to half height?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by sailinstud420, Sep 11, 2006.

  1. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    Is there any reason I cannot/shouldn't cut some ornamental grasses down to half of their height right now? They grasses are located in islands within the sidewalk of a strip mall. When it rains the grasses all flop over and lay all over the sidewalk (run off from the roof lands on them) I want to cut them down to about half their height, for the rest of the season? Is there any plant health reasons not too? I live in MI btw.
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Because it will look like hell until spring.
  3. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    I agree that it will not look too well, but safety comes first. As far as plant health it would not damage them. :)
  4. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    Use a white Zip tie about 1' from the bottom to hold them together and then cut them off, just try and shape them a little rather than flat topping them. When winter time comes, chinch the zip tie down and cut them off. Makes clean up easy.
  5. AL Inc

    AL Inc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,218

    Good idea, OTD. Sailin, you may want to plan on dividing those grasses next spring, they may keep their shape a bit better if they weren't so big. And you can use the extras elsewhere on the property, or take them to your house:)
  6. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 820

    We trim them when we trim shrubs during the summer months when there getting to large, never had a problem. Just have one guy wrap the top up and cut a third off, they flop open to look good. When trimming for the winter wrap them with duck tape and cut off at bottom.
  7. sailinstud420

    sailinstud420 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 343

    I usually use a rope, tie a loop in one end, feed the line through, and cinch it down, chop, and release. Makes cleanup easy. These things are huge. I think I will cut them in 4ths when the time comes!!
  8. gardenkeeper88

    gardenkeeper88 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 347

    First of all in my opinion It sounds like it is the wrong plant in the wrong place. Show the customer what is happening. BTW what grass is it. If it is miscanthus try to recommend a Dw. pennisetum. If it is a pennisetum then maybe a helictotrichon or fescue. Cutting them halfway will slow or stop the flowering depending on when you cut them. They will also most likly bleed like lawn grass cut w/ dull blades, resulting in dead area at cut.

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