Should Perennial Grasses Be Cut Before Winter

Question From: D. Dobbs - Farmington, Michigan, United States
Q: Perrinials grasses. Can you tell me if you have ever done a story on grasses? Should I cut them down or leave them be?

A: To cut or not to cut is up to you, Most gardeners leave them in place as winter decoration. That said, a bad ice storm may beat them down leaving a messy look. Cut back tall grasses to a height of 4 to 6 inches and short grasses to 2 to 3 inches. If you wait till spring do so before the new shoots get very high, so as not to damage the fresh growth. I have not written how to articles on grasses, as I did not grow them in my country gardens. I was vary wary of reseeding into my wild flower/native growth fields. It happens and once the stuff gets out it's almost impossible to get rid of. Granted, not all grasses are problematic, but I did not want to take a chance. We have lots of grasses in my new display garden, but they need dividing and we may have to get a backhoe. You will find lots of useful information on grasses on the Yardener website that was written by Jeff Ball (who passed away four years ago).  I like to write about things I have experience with. Best And Happy Yardening, Nancy