London (change)
Today 15°C / 11°C
Tomorrow 15°C / 13°C
14 messages
21/02/2014 at 20:56
Weather has been good to me today. I have made a good start in cutting back my pampas grass. It hasn't been cut down since I moved here over 10 years ago . I decided to start on this first otherwise My garden bin gets too full of other stuff And before I know it, it's too late and it has To wait for another year. A few cuts here and there but I think I am in the winning side !
21/02/2014 at 22:31

be very careful of nesting rodents

21/02/2014 at 22:31

I've used a petrol hedge trimmer on overgrown pampas grass to great success in the past. Cut all the green stuff off and discard, then cut away the white bits a few centimetres at a time. It makes great compost.

21/02/2014 at 22:32

I used a mattock, all gone now.

21/02/2014 at 22:43

Too scared to do the other one now in case of rodents! Will get OH to use hedge trimmer , sounds like a Labour saving device. 

22/02/2014 at 09:12

I have a question re pampas grass too. I planted one last year, it has one "flower" and is about 25cm across. Do I cut the lot down now or just leave it until it gets bigger?

22/02/2014 at 10:14

Hi Sue, you don't need to do much to them while they're young other than removing any of the outer 'blades' when they begin to die or look untidy, and the old flowering stems in the spring.  If you have a large garden then they can look great when they reach full size (often 6 feet or more across at the base) but can overwhelm a small garden and are really tricky to remove once they reach a metre diameter at the base.  I had to remove one of that size about 5 years ago (using a chainsaw) and the 'stump' is still there, but (very) slowly rotting underneath the clematis I grew over it to hide it.. 

22/02/2014 at 11:14

Thanks for the info Bob. Mine is behind the pond and has about 3 feet each side to grow into. By the time it gets too big, I probably won't be around anymore!

22/02/2014 at 11:49

That location sounds great, Sue!  It will provide excellent cover for any wildlife visiting the pond (not many predators will venture into it due to the sharp edges of the blades) and it will provide some shade which should help keep algae levels down in the pond.

22/02/2014 at 14:25

I fell in love with the much hated Pampas Grass after a late autumn trip to Cornwall. I bought one for my Pennine garden. It is an excellent screen for a less than beautiful sight in the garden but treat it very carefully. Don't be too anxious to raze it to the ground. It is only February. Mine is still waving in the gales. We could have snow in April! The male frogs like to overwinter in the thicket.If you have cut the flower stalks off you could find Ladybirds asleep inside the remaining hollow stems. So, wait until the frogs are busy pairing up in the pond and the Ladybirds are hunting the aphids. Then, don complete gardening armour and use the powered hedge trimmers. I was once very ignorant and pruned it with secateurs and bare hands and arms. It took weeks and all the medication that the doctors could think of to repair the destruction that it had done to my skin! One can always trim the straggly leaves to keep it looking tidy. If the plant becomes too big it can, after cutting down, be dug out in bits. The rotten dead centre will easily pull out and the new outer portions transplanted or sent to another home. It will still grow, looking youthful once again. And cut it down each year.

22/02/2014 at 20:02

Just don't do what a work colleague of my wife did some years ago.  He heard somewhere that burning pampas grass somehow improved it.  I don't like the things so from my viewpoint that's probably true but I digress.

It was a big beast so he cut it back to about 18" high and tried to set fire to it - it wouldn't burn!  So his next bright idea was to use an accelerant and he poured petrol onto it - yes really.  It did burn then, if fact it exploded and fired lumps of pampas grass all over the place.  We think the reason for the explosion was pockets of petrol fumes where the fuel had gone into the base of the clump.

How he didn't blow himself up is anybodies guess.

23/02/2014 at 11:20

That's what 'they' used to suggest. Don't do it. I once tried. I also had the hose pipe at the ready. Good job, as the heat began to melt an acrylic pane in the nearby greenhouse.

This morning the first pair of frogs have arrived. It is 12 months exactly since they first arrived last year! How do they do it? The weather conditions are not anything like a year ago. The only similarity is the date, or maybe the light intensity. I think it is still too cold out there for me and the majority of the frog population. The surface of the water is not on the 'full boil stage' yet and the choir of croaking is not in full voice. Gardening is interesting, isn't it?

23/02/2014 at 13:12

 Mine are one in front of the other. I have cut down the one at the front but the second one very cleverly screens my compost bin. Thinking of cutting them down in alternate years so I still have screening. Anyone know how quickly they grow back?, the uncut one is 6ft at present

 

 

 

 

 

23/02/2014 at 14:21

HI i got the RHS    

  • Pampas grass grows well on a range of soil types but thrives in a fertile, well-drained soil in full sun.
  • After time the tussocks can become very large and congested with old, dead foliage.
  • Cutting back and combing regularly in late winter or spring should minimise the dead foliage and keep the tussock compact.
  • Because of its sharp leaf margins pampas grass was commonly burnt in its native habitat to control its spread, but in the garden burning can be dangerous not only for the gardener but because pampas grass is a favourite place for hedgehogs to hibernate.
  • Pests and diseases do not trouble Cortaderia selloana
email image
14 messages