We live in Brooklyn, NY, and have a container garden. We didn’t trim back a couple of our grasses in the fall. Is it too late to trim them back now?
The Gardener’s Answer
Hello, Dahlia & Michelle: One of the great things about ornamental grasses is that they are very low-maintenance. They need to be cut back once a year but are not too picky about when this happens. Some varieties hold up better during the winter than others that tend to flop. For this reason, some gardeners purposely leave them up all winter long while others cut them back. Just make sure they are cut back before they start to put on new growth in the spring. When you remove the dead foliage, it helps to tie a string around the grass and then take a pair of loppers or pruners and cut the grass back to just a couple of inches. This allows for an easy cleanup. Remember to wear gloves when dealing with grasses, as some of them are razor-sharp and will give you a mean paper-like cut. So, no rush to get this project done unless they are not aesthetically pleasing and you want tidy up your container garden. Grasses will benefit from being divided every few years, especially when grown in a container.