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Old 06-11-2002, 11:04 PM
Barry Watts
 
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I've heard and read many different stories of how to reduce the size of a
mature Cortaderia Seloana - everything from removing the crispy bits while
wearing gloves, to setting fire to the whole thing! The later would be
risky, as this particular specimen is close to a wooden fence. It looks
great about now, but the rest of the year it's really rather scruffy, with
loads of dead foliage in the centre which is almost impossible to get at.
It could clearly do with a trim. I'm thinking of cutting it right back to
about 1 foot of its base - as it says in one particular article I found.

Does anyone have any experience of hard pruning these wonderful plants?

Cheers

Baz



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Old 07-11-2002, 01:39 PM
DaveDay34
 
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I've heard and read many different stories of how to reduce the size of a
mature Cortaderia Seloana - everything from removing the crispy bits while
wearing gloves, to setting fire to the whole thing! The later would be
risky, as this particular specimen is close to a wooden fence. It looks
great about now, but the rest of the year it's really rather scruffy, with
loads of dead foliage in the centre which is almost impossible to get at.
It could clearly do with a trim. I'm thinking of cutting it right back to
about 1 foot of its base - as it says in one particular article I found.

Does anyone have any experience of hard pruning these wonderful plants?

Cheers

Baz


I have several of these plants that are huge and have outgrown their alloted
space if anyone wants them. I live in North London.

As far as reducing the size is concerned, they will form a clump that will
gradually get larger as time goes by. You may have to dig up the clump and
separate.

If you just want to clear out the old growth you should trim back in March with
a hedge trimmer or something similar. In your case protect the wooden shed
with a sheet of corrugated iron or similar, then burn off the remaining dead
grass. This will then allow new growth to start coming through to give you a
good display for the summer which isn't spoilt by the dead matter left over
from last year. Don't be tempted to carry out this action now as the dead
matter protects the base of the plant from frosts over the winter.

Hope this helps.

Dave.
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Old 07-11-2002, 08:23 PM
Sarah Dale
 
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On Wed, 06 Nov 2002 23:04:10 +0000, Barry Watts wrote:

I've heard and read many different stories of how to reduce the size of a
mature Cortaderia Seloana - everything from removing the crispy bits while
wearing gloves, to setting fire to the whole thing! The later would be
Does anyone have any experience of hard pruning these wonderful plants?


OK Baz,

I've BTDTGTTS! So:-

1) Prepare yourself for battle - wear trousers, long sleeved shirt,
strong gloves, tough boots and you may wish to cover your neck as well.

2) Get your tools - hedge shears (or electric / petrol trimmer), pruning
saw and possibly secatuers

3) Approach the pampas grass with caution, take a deep breath and be
prepared for a long day.

4) Clip back as far as you can with the shears or hedge trimmer. At some
point you will arrive at a compact sort of mushroom shape which is very
dense.

5) To take it further, you can cut off the fronds with secatuers or a
pruning saw. I also found that a pruning saw was great for getting that
clump even smaller. Start at the outside and work in, sawing through the
round clumps from which the leaves have come.

6) You'll have a lot of mess and need a large space in your compost heap
or at least one trip to the dump in a hatchback with the back seats
dropped.

7) To dig up your pampas grass, cut round the clump into the ground with a
spade and keep going. Use a pick axe to lever it out - pick one with a
sound handle (no need to ask what happened to my pickaxe to learn this
leaason! (ouch!)). I think a mattock would also be useful. NB - pampas
grass rootballs are VERY heavy and are a two person lift/drag.

HTH,

Sarah


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Old 08-11-2002, 11:27 AM
Mark D Spiteri
 
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Default Pampas Grass

Xref: 127.0.0.1 uk.rec.gardening:161780


"Barry Watts" wrote in message
...
I've heard and read many different stories of how to reduce the size of a
mature Cortaderia Seloana - everything from removing the crispy bits while
wearing gloves, to setting fire to the whole thing! The later would be
risky, as this particular specimen is close to a wooden fence. It looks
great about now, but the rest of the year it's really rather scruffy, with
loads of dead foliage in the centre which is almost impossible to get at.
It could clearly do with a trim. I'm thinking of cutting it right back to
about 1 foot of its base - as it says in one particular article I found.

Does anyone have any experience of hard pruning these wonderful plants?


I got some tree surgeons to have a go at ours with a chainsaw. They chopped
it right down to about a foot of (apparently) dead wood off the ground. It
looked absolutely awful. This was in March.

Now it's massive, almost as big as it was a year ago, and covered in plumes.

So I say you can hard prune them quite extensively!

Mark




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