If I remember correctly I think it was my wife’s idea to plant Pampas Grass; she of course denies it. Especially since she found out from the Daily Telegraph that Pampas Grass was supposed to be a sign of a house with “Swingers”. She misinterpreted this saying “I don’t want anyone to think we are fans of big band music”. Anyway it had to go.
July 1: Things I have been doing today.
🐲 Fighting to the death with Pampas Grass. Pampas grass is a lovely show statement grass which is ideal in large gardens. It requires lots of water as do most grasses. The particular problem with this grass is that it grows in rings that extend out from the centre, so you have to get water into the centre at all times otherwise the centre dries out and dies leaving you with a grass that looks a bit like Friar Tucks hair style; (I make no apology for mentioning the great Tuck). I had placed a ring of irrigation around the plant spraying into the centre, but to no avail, four years later it was Tucked. The first picture below shows the problem.
So anyway, it had to go. Short of having your own JCB getting Pampas Grass out requires hard labour involving a four stage process.
Stage 1: take cuttings as you may want to propagate the grass elsewhere. Using a sharp spade cut down around the edges and try and remove clumps of individual grasses. This can be very difficult as you need to dig down to ensure you get as much root as possible. Once you have enough cuttings plant them in 3 litre pots with a normal potting compost, in about three weeks they should start showing signs of growth. The pictures below shows my cuttings beside the main plant and in their pots.
Stage 2: using hedge trimmers and/or a chainsaw, cut the plant down as far as you can. The centre can be very tough, but just keep cutting into it.
Stage 3: set it on fire! Now its not often you get to say that phrase in gardening. Pampas grass normally gets burnt down every so often in its natural environment, so really you are just making it feel at home. But do be careful when you set it alight it turns into Dante’s 6th Circle of Hell (look it up you heretics – high literature and gardening). I forgot to mention this stage to my neighbours and I had the odd complaint about houses filling with smoke.
Stage 4: this is the worst stage – you have to dig out the roots and they don’t want to come out. Using a series of spades working from the outside work your way round the root gradually digging further underneath. After two hours I gave up and borrowed an extremely large crowbar from my neighbour. This was excellent as it allowed me to jump up and down on the end of a large crowbar and prove Archimedes right (look it up). The picture below shows the space where the Pampas Grass was and my mighty crowbar.