WHEN TO CUT BACK ORNAMENTAL GRASS????

A Google search said to do it in the spring. One source said to leave it intact for a "Winter effect." Can I cut it back now?? I don't want it drying out and have pieces of it blown everywhere.
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Leave it until spring. It won't blow everywhere. What have you done in the past?
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Leave it until spring.  It won't blow everywhere.  What have you done in the past?
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I cut it back in the fall, but I was told I shouldn't do this.
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Leave it until spring. It won't blow everywhere. What have you done in the past?
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I cut it back in the fall, but I was told I shouldn't do this.
If it's already dominate, cut away!! If it's still green don't.
Tom J
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The only reason to not cut it back in the fall is so you can enjoy its winter silhouette. I usually cut it back before the snow smashed it.
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Ann, gardening in Zone 6a
South of Boston, Massachusetts
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The reason to not cut it back up north is to prevent possible crown damage during the cold temperatures. I have many grasses which are rangy, that I cut back now. There are others which look beautiful through the winter. I live in a warm winter climate, so crown protection is not necessary. However, I don't cut back the pennisetum because it is marginally hardy here and will come back if I don't cut it back.
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tomkanpa wrote:

I have red fescue. It's cut late in October so that I can rake leaves off it. Otherwise, accumulated leaves smother patches of the grass, leaving dead spots. It's cut again in April since it grows through the winter.
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David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
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leave it alone for the winter, to enjoy the textures of the frosts and snow's and a place for the birds to hang out (not to mention the neat sound they make in the wind when they're dry........) and cut them back in March just as the new growth is coming up. leave about a foot or two of dead stems to support the new grasses and break down and provide nourishment when the stems decay. I sometimes pull out the rotted older stems later on and compost them. But I never cut my Zebra grasses back even when they flop about like lazy teenagers towards the driveway (like they are doing so now). It's far neater to see the grasses in winter splendor. But it's a personal thing. if you gotta clean it up because you just gotta do something, then go ahead. Me? I'd wait because it also protects the structure of the plant against freezing by holding up the snow and cold temperatures with the old foliage................. madgardener up on the cold ridge, back in Fairy Holler, overlooking a sparkly pre-winter's night on English Mountain in Eastern Tennessee where it finally feels like the month it is......(November was spring-like until the last few days)

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