Time to Cut Back Grasses

As part of our trials program, we’ve been evaluating our extensive grass collection for winter interest. Much thanks to volunteers Mary Jo Vesper and Pam Dollard for their assistance and hard work with developing a terrific evaluation system.  We will rate grasses three times a year, scoring on a 1-5 scale in winter, summer, and fall on a number of performance and aesthetic categories. Then we will average these three scores on each grass for a full year rating.  Stay tuned! By year’s end, we’ll be posting a list of recommended grasses the look great and perform well in the Ohio Valley and Midwest.

Speaking of grasses, now is a good time to cut them back in preparation for spring. We’ve begun the sizeable job of cutting back all of ours here at the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Gardens. We’ve also been busy with some bed renovations and honeysuckle removal. When doing this work at home, be careful not to walk on your garden beds any more than necessary, especially when the soil is wet. This causes soil compaction which greatly reduces your plants’ ability to produce healthy roots and grow.

Spring is indeed coming! We have enjoyed seeing some flowers this past week. Witchhazels (Hamamelis vernalis and H. x intermedia),  snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis), and winter jasmine (Jasminium nudiflorum) are all blooming. Much more is on the way!

Soon we can look forward to this: