Pruning Pampas Grass after Frost
If you look around town you see some great big old ugly bushes like this. This is pampas grass. A lot of people use them for screens and planting around and that freeze in December did a job on them. It killed them back. Well I didn't kill them because killing this thing is like killing rock you just don't do it.
What you're seeing now is a great big old dead bush and it's not going to come back to life. What's going to happen is it's going to send out a few young green sprouts from the middle of it. Well if you just leave it standing there dead it's going to be ugly in the middle and sort of pretty on the outside. So what you need to do is cut this thing back.
Now what I recommend is that you start with clippers on the outside and just kind of clip all the loose stuff away. Clip all that loose stuff away to where you're down to a pretty solid trunk like that. Now some people are cutting these back and just leaving that dead trunk inside there, see that's a fairly straight trunk. But the problem is again you're going to have a big dead center. I think the best thing to do is cut that trunk just about in half and of course you can do that with an axe or whatever. Of course I kind of like to get violent and I always wear protective gear and I like to kind of get a chainsaw loose on it if you're in a hurry.
Well if you and your chainsaw persevere you'll end up with a nice rounded flattened look, like a piece of dead growing. But what will happen is the pampas will sprout from this area and grow into pretty solid green pampas again, until the next freeze comes.
This is Jerry Parsons, Vegetable Specialist for the Texas Agricultural Extension Service, the Weekend Gardener.
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