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12 messages
08/09/2013 at 10:09

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 . 

08/09/2013 at 12:31

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.

08/09/2013 at 12:32

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.

08/09/2013 at 15:10

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.

08/09/2013 at 15:16

The voice of experience eh waterbutts? 

08/09/2013 at 15:51


08/09/2013 at 16:54

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

08/09/2013 at 21:10

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.

08/09/2013 at 23:24

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's not really a garden plant.  It's leaves are sharp and it relentlessly encroaches onto surrounding ground.  

02/02/2015 at 11:33

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

02/02/2015 at 15:26

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

02/02/2015 at 17:06

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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