When to Cut Ornamental Grass

Ornamental grass is the tall grass that grows in gardens and looks nice. But when should you cut it? That’s what we’re going to talk about. Think of Your garden with these beautiful tall grasses. They make your garden look great.

But if you cut them at the wrong time, it might not be good. You should cut your backyard grass at the right time because with the right time, trimming won’t hurt the grass. And with proper steps, your grass gets in good shape, making your backyard welcoming and beautiful. So, when is the right time? Well, it’s easy.

Before concluding, we’ll ensure you’re equipped with knowledge of the right timing and manual grass-cutting techniques to maintain your garden’s allure without the need for machinery.

Understanding the Growth Cycle

Before you decide when to trim your grass, it’s important to understand how it grows. There are two types: some prefer cooler weather, while others prefer warmth. It would be best to cut them at different times to keep them neat.

The cool-season grasses are like a trim in early spring before they start growing a lot. On the other hand, the warm-season ones should be trimmed in late winter or early spring before new shoots appear.

So, knowing the kind of grass you have can help you determine the right time for a little cut. This way, your lawn will always look its best, and you won’t have to worry about overgrown grass.

Timing is Everything

Timing is Everything

1. Cutting Cool-Season Grasses

For the kind of grass that likes cooler weather, cutting it in early spring before it grows again is a good idea. This air and sunshine get to the grass, making it grow stronger and healthier.

So, when you see the first signs of spring, grab your mower and trim your grass. Your lawn will thank you with bright, green growth. It’ll look much better without those long, hairy blades. Taking care of your yard doesn’t have to be hard, and cutting it at the right time is a simple way to keep it looking nice.

2. Trimming Warm-Season Grasses

Grass, like warm weather, should be cut during late winter or early spring before new grass grows. This ensures the old, sleepy grass doesn’t keep the new grass growing well. It’s important to do this to keep your lawn healthy and looking nice. When you do this kind of cutting, it’s called pruning.

The Cutting Process

The Cutting Process

Now that you have the proper tools and know the ideal time to cut, it’s time to get to work. Follow these steps for a successful trim.

1. Gather and Tie

Before you chop the grass, put it together with a stretchy cord or string. This helps keep the grass in one bunch, making cutting simpler. After you’ve done that, you can start cutting. This way, it will be more manageable, and you’ll find it easier.

2. Position and Angle

Hold the tool slightly slanted, pointing towards the middle of the grass bunch. This way, you can cut the grass without hurting the new grass at the bottom. It’s important to be gentle with the tool to keep your lawn looking nice. So, take your time, and make sure to mow this way to achieve the best results.

3. Cutting Motion

Push the tool steadily when you cut. Don’t go back and forth, as it can make edges not smooth. Cutting smoothly is important for neatness. It would be best if you used equal force to keep things neat. Push carefully for clean cuts.

4. Cleanup

After cutting the grass, remove any old or rotten stuff from around the bottom of the grass. This stops sickness and makes the airflow better. Keeping the area clean is essential for the grass to stay healthy and grow well. So, don’t forget to do this after mowing your lawn.

Signs it’s Time for a Trim

Signs it's Time for a Trim

1. Excessive Browning

If you see lots of brown, dried-up plants, it’s time to cut them. Trimming helps keep your garden healthy and looking neat. You can use garden shears or scissors to do this. Be gentle so you don’t hurt the plant. Throw away the dead parts so they don’t spread disease.

2. Lack of New Growth

No new leaves growing means the old leaves are stopping new ones from coming. When this happens, it’s important to take care of the plant so it can start growing again. You might need to trim the old leaves or give them more water and sunlight. It’s a fresh start to grow healthy and strong.

3. Overcrowding

When the grass looks full and messy, you should cut it short to make it look fresh and new. This will make your lawn look better. You can do this by using a lawnmower or a pair of scissors. Ensure you don’t cut it too short, or it might not grow back properly. So, take your time and make your lawn look nice. Your neighbors will like it, and you can enjoy spending time in your garden when it looks good.


Cutting ornamental grass can be an important work. You don’t want to do it too soon or too late. It’s best to wait until late winter or early spring. That’s when it’s easy to trim without making it wake up too soon. Remember, the main reason is to make your garden amazing without dulling the grass.

So, wait for the right time, get your scissors or shears, and trim your ornamental grass. This helps it grow back fresh and strong for the next season. Taking care of your garden can be simple and enjoyable.

By applying these simple steps, you’ll keep your garden looking clean.

Kelsey Davis

With a background in Environmental Science from the University of Florida, Kelsey Davis has dedicated the last 10 years to mastering turf management. Her professional journey includes a significant tenure at a renowned botanical garden. Her experience spans from working with golf courses to providing consultancy for residential landscaping projects. Kelsey became a member of our team in 2020, where she combines her practical expertise with a passion for writing. Outside of work, she's an enthusiastic trail runner and wildlife photographer.

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