I watched the video tips that you did on ornamental grasses that almost touched on my question but not quite.
I have several plantings of ornamental grasses, (although I can't recall the species) but this is my problem. About half way through the summer, the grasses seem to fall over from their own weight!! I don't recall this happening during the first or even the second season, but since then, as the base of the grasses have grown, they are falling over and don't look nearly as nice as they once did.
Do you have any suggestions? I cut them down to the ground this weekend as I have done in the past. During the winter I have actually bundled them up together using green velcro banding.
One year I also used an axe and cut the base about in half. Do you recommend doing this routinely? If so, what part of the base would you keep? The outside or the center part? Any suggestions are welcome.
Ornamental grasses can develop weak stems and get rather floppy if they are not planted in full sun. They can tolerate a little shade but full sun is best to keep them upright and blooming well. Often our sun gardens gradually become shadier as nearby trees grow taller!
Secondly, as ornamental grasses mature, the center becomes very dense and compact and water cannot penetrate this part of the plant. Eventually the center dies out due to drought and also because it becomes shaded by the vigorously growing outside stems. You can see this when the clumps are cut back in the early spring. The whole center of the clump is dead while the outside edges are healthy. Watch our video gardening tip about this problem. If this is the case, you should dig and divide the clump, throwing away the center section that is dead. Right now in early spring is a good time to do this. After replanting the divisions in a good sunny spot, give them a shot of Plant-tone fertilizer, some rock phosphate, and green sand at the rate recommended on the package. Keep them well watered until they are established. You should have nice healthy grasses this season!