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Give your grasses some TLC

Give your grasses some TLC

Give your grasses some TLC as they go over into winter and you'll save yourself a job in the spring, as well as keeping your winter garden neat and tidy.

Not all grasses need attention in winter: some, in fact, come into their own at this time of year. Leave the tall, stately flowerheads of Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster' on the plant for as long as possible to let the frost rime it prettily in cold weather. Other grasses which hold their shapes well include Miscanthus sinensis  'Gracillimus' and Deschampsia cespitosa.

Some, however, do have a tendency to collapse as the season wears on, so if you notice one that's gone over, remove last year's stems and dead leaves right down to the base. You can leave this job till spring, but if you do you risk snipping away new emerging growth too, so it's as well to get it done now.

Evergreen grasses like Stipa gigantea, Festuca glauca and Carex comans enjoy a little attention, too. Remove any collapsed flower heads, and then comb through its leaves with your fingers (wear gloves for this job as they can be quite sharp). This removes any strawy dead patches, making room for new growth to come through.