It takes me a 5 man crew working 6 days a week for two weeks to do all of ours. We use Stihl HS80 hedge trimmers and a couple of weedeaters with hedge trimmer attachments. I sharpen the blades with a dremel at the end of every day and touch them up during the day with a flat file. Makes the work go much quicker. If you only have a few to do it helps to tie the blades of the grass up with twine much like you would bail a christmas tree. Then once it is cut you have a nice neat bundle that is easy to handle. This is not practical if you have as many to cut as we do.
If they are not bunched togather (Single Plants) then I will put a nylon rope around the bottom and tie it medium snug. Then I slide the rope up to the hight I want to cut. I sinch the rope down tight and cut a straight line accross with hedge trimmers. Then I move the top part that I cut off out of the way and touch up the rest with the trimmers.
If there is a group of them togather I just hack and clear untill I am done.
I have three pampus grass plants in my back lawn. Two years ago, I decided to cut them back to the ground. I used hedge trimmers and didn't wear gloves. It took me about 5 hours. When I was done, the serated leaf blades had made minor cuts all over my hands and arms. When I ran hot water over them, it really stung.
Last year, I decided to buy a pair of leather gloves. That helped tremendously. I also used a hand saw instead of hedge clippers. It was a lot of work, but it worked a lot faster than trying to cut those leaf blades with a hedge trimmer.
Also, last year, I cut them back right after Christmas. What I learned is that as the new, tender leaf blades grow back, if it freezes, they turn brown. So all the tips of the leaf blades were brown last year. I finally broke down and clipped them all off with hand clippers last May. That took forever too.
This year, I plan to use my chainsaw and my leather gloves after the final freeze, probably around mid March. Should be a lot less work this year. I think the concept of tying bundles together makes a lot of sense too, but with a bundle that large, how do you stuff it into a garbage bag?
That's pretty much the way I did it but I did use a chainsaw like NCSU said. I cut them all about a foot off the ground. Then used my hedger's to clean'm up.
They looked very good and the people were extremly satisfied with the look! They had been cut back with hand clippers for the last 12 years.
They had not seen them cut back so low before. I did get down to the "crown" (if that what you would call it) and actually cut into it.
Ive seen people even use bushog's to cut and they come back great so I dont think that I hurt them?
I like the way pampas grass looks, but I'm sure glad that I don't have to deal with it in this area. Never did like getting my fingers sliced open by that stuff! Thfireman, not a bad idea about using the rope... but I wonder if that method could be modified a bit so that it would give the plants more of a rounded look than a flat top?
Gas hedge trimmers work awesome! I use duct tape (cheap kind) and wrap the grass about twice around about 3 feet off the ground, just so it's tight. If the plants are extra large I may divide it into two or three seperate bunches. Just a mater of cutting at desired height, usually about 8 to 10 inches for me. you can chop the top off, get it out of the way and trim the stragglers off all in half a minute. I try to keep all the clumps all the same height on the property and i do the flat-top. I think the stuff looks better after I cut it down than it does all year! (I'm not too fond of the crap).
PPE- GLOVES AND LONG SLEEVES! I can do it w/o them but it makes for an itchy day. Of course it never fails, when I start cutting them back it's always that one 75 degree day in march so I'm sweating like a pig in my long sleeves and gloves!
I've been trimming pampas grass for sometime now. I have tried to use chainsaws and hedge trimmers,they don't work, the chain and the sickle bar get full of grass.
What i've learned to use is a gas powered grass trimmer ie weed wacker.You can shave the top and the sides down to any size you want Each plant can be trimmed in less than 5 minutes each .Try it and you'll see what I mean. Hope it helps.