Remove old foliage from grasses now to freshen them up
Having left your ornamental grasses to add a little bulk and interest to the garden over the winter, they’ll be getting a little saggy now and desperate for a bit of a tidy-up. But it all depends on what grass you have – evergreens need only a little combing through of all their dead stems and any damaged ones, and may not appreciate a full haircut! However, as deciduous grasses are dead stems, they’ll need a heavy chop to the ground to leave room for new ones to grow. Deciduous Stipa tenuissima is a bit of anexception, as in many gardens it behaves as an evergreen, depending on its environment.
If it has stayed predominantly green it may just need a comb through, too. The exception in the evergreen camp is pampas grass, which benefits from a good cut down right to the ground. Be careful of damaging any fresh growth if you see it. Combing through grasses simply involves using your hands, with your gloved fingers running through it to release loose leaves, or gently raking them if they’re ground-grown. Use secateurs to cut back deciduous grasses to a few centimetres above the ground, and pull out loose strands by hand. If you think your grass may need it, incorporate general fertiliser into the area around the grass to help it into new growth.