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Hi Can any of you folk out there tell us how to prune !  a huge pampas grass we inherited when we moved its getting totally out of hand its just started to turn green so I presume it's wrong time of year really but it really has to go but if we can cut it back we will , we've tried hedge trimmers etc . 

 X

Hi Los, Pampas grass is a home for lots of overwintering insects so you might be best waiting till spring but if its really bugging you and you want to cut it back all I can say is wear long sleeves and thick gloves, it's sharp as you probably know.  I cut mine back years ago with long sharp shears, took ages and I was told by a passing pedestrian that a brush cutter was a good idea but i didn't have one. I also used a curved serrated knife - bit like a small scythe, that worked ok, I just grabbed handfuls of the grass and cut through it.

BobTheGardener

Hi Los, when they get really big they are difficult to deal with.  I needed to get rid of mine and had to use a chainsaw to cut it back to a stump.  If you do that it may or may not grow back.  As I wanted rid of mine I just kept using glyphosate on any new growth and it finally died after 2 years - I grow clematis over the stump as I couldn't dig it out - hopefully it will eventualy rot away.  If it is in an open space like a lawn (and not next to a fence like mine) you can set light to the dry stuff in the centre and burn it off.  It will almost certainly grow back but will be much tidier for 3-4 years when you can burn it off again.  I'd recommend wearing leather golves and a leather jacket when tackling it manually or you'll get cut to shreds.  If you do want it out, you may need a stump grinder to get the roots out if it it a big one.

If you do set light to it, "beware of a big surprise". It goes up like a torch. And the ashes fly off in all directions and make you persona non grata with your neighbours who have just put their washing out on the line.

Dovefromabove

The voice of experience eh waterbutts? 

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Los as Paula said all sorts of things wil be living in the clump. So pls give them a chance to escape. 

Thank you everybody for your help & have taken on board all your suggestions , not looking forward to it !!!as it is enormous would look lovely in stately home garden.

Best to gently clear it out first ......beIng comscious of creatures living there.  Then  I would burn it if it's well away from thing else.  

I have removed fairly large,pampas grass but not huge ones.  I used pick axe, spade and fork.   Attacked it in chunks but, as said, it is a bit challenging.  I would start on it ASAP .

I,would not have a pampas grass ....it's not really a garden plant.  It's leaves are sharp and it relentlessly encroaches onto surrounding ground.  

I love my pink pampas grass that I grew from a tiny seed but now it is a monster. Need to halve it in size. It loves to be cut down to a foot and burned with a blowtorch. No picks or mattocks for me (couldn't even lift one off the ground) . Think I will try gradual attrition from one side with a spade

Dovefromabove

Beware of hibernating hedgehogs in the pampas - it's a favourite spot!

I have cut it down by degrees, from huge to waist hight first - no hedgies but an audience of disapproving cats! Then down to two foot high. This afternoon, most of it is down to four inches so I can attempt digging round the edge but there is a high core of apparently solid wood in the middle! I didn't expect that. I took some healthy rooted stalks out and potted them to have a backup in case I kill it 

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