Calamagrostis can be cut down in late fall when heavy frosts have killed it off. The first heavy snow usually flattens it so you lose the winter interest. It is easier to cut back grasses before new foliage arises than to work around newly emerging shoots. Leave at least 6" (15 cm) of old growth. If you've left it late and there's new growth, just be sure to cut well above that growth. The photo of Calamagrostis 'Overdam' taken on May 3 last year shows the new growth already covering the old stalks.
|Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Overdam'|
We use long handled pruners to cut off Giganteus. It has a tough stem which makes great stakes to tie plants to for support in your garden. (We're making instant fences with the dried stems by tying bunches onto 1 x 2's. I'll post a photo later) Other grasses can be trimmed back with long blade grass shears, a bread knife or just break them off with your hands. If you have large plants, you can tie a bungee cord or string around them first & they'll be easier to dispose of in one bunch. Miscanthus have sharp edges - best to wear gloves!