Denver Landscaping 101: How to Care for Ornamental Grass This Winter

December 3, 2019

As a homeowner, you know that your landscaping will fade during the winter months. This is normal, but it doesn’t mean you have to accept a boring yard during the coldest time of the year. You just need to care for the plants that can survive the harsh conditions. Ornamental grasses are some of the best options to add color and texture to your winter Denver landscape. Here’s how to care for that grass so it looks its best.

Don’t Cut It Back
With your standard lawn grass, cutting it back helps prepare the turf for the colder weather and signals that the grass needs to stop growing as rapidly. The same isn’t true for ornamental grass. In fact, cutting it back can both hurt the plant and your yard’s appearance. 

Instead of cutting it back, let the grass stay long throughout the winter. When it’s kept long, the grass insulates itself from the cold temperatures. This helps prevent premature breakage and makes the grass hardier for the coming growing season. 

Mulch Your Garden Beds
Ornamental grass is typically planted in garden beds around other shrubs and decorative plants. And while leaving the grass long protects the stalks from freezing temperatures, it doesn’t do much for its roots. You’ll still want to insulate the roots by spreading a fresh layer of mulch. 

As an added bonus, the fresh mulch will bring color to your garden bed, making the ornamental grass stand out even when the other plants are dormant. 

Don’t Worry About Watering
Some plants still require water during the winter months. Ornamental grasses just don’t. They’re naturally drought tolerant and can go long periods without water easily. Instead of worrying about the grass, just let it sit during the winter. Denver’s regular snowfall will be enough to keep the soil hydrated and encourage the roots to stay healthy. 

Be Mindful of Weeds
Some winters, the cold never really goes away. Other years, we get a warm spell that triggers all sorts of premature growth. If you’re thinking “weeds,” you’d be right. Pay attention to the weather and check your garden bed after any warm spells. If you see weeds popping up through the mulch, pull them. This will help keep your ornamental grasses looking great while also preserving the nutrients they need to grow in the spring.

Weeds have a way of drawing up nutrients you’d rather reserve for your decorative plants. When allowed to grow unchecked, your garden bed’s soil can quickly become depleted. Pulling them gets rid of that problem and sets your grasses up for a successful growing season, no herbicides needed.

Let Us Take a Look
If you’re worried about your ornamental grasses on your property, you don’t have to wait until spring to get help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and let our team inspect your yard. If we find any issues, we’ll help you get rid of them so you can enjoy the way your landscaping looks without worry. The sooner we can get started, the better off your yard will be. 
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