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Add some class with ornamental grass

Ornamental grasses are a very versatile part of landscapes today. They can be planted alone, in groups or as a part of a perennial or annual garden. The spectacular seed heads are a great attention-getter.

Grasses are very carefree plants that make a beautiful addition to just about any area.

However, most grasses do require some care.

Many of us have questions. When do we cut them and how do we do it? Then what?

I hope my research will help.

HOT AND COLD

An important thing to remember is that there are two classifications of grasses, warm season and cool season.

Warm season grasses do not usually begin growing until late spring or early summer, when the weather begins to warm. Their main growth and flowering occurs during hot weather, and they begin to turn shades of brown as winter begins.

Cool season grasses tend to grow in the spring before temperatures reach about 75 degrees, and then again in the fall when temperatures begin to fall. These grasses usually keep their color all summer but do not grow when it is hot.

There are also what are referred to as evergreen grasses (i.e., sedges and rushes), but they are not specifically (botanically) classified as grasses.

Warm season grasses should be cut back in the fall or early winter when they turn shades of brown. They should be cut to about 3 to 6 inches above the soil level.

Some folks prefer to leave the grasses for interest during the winter. If warm season grasses are not cut until late winter, they should be cut to ground level before new growth begins. Snowfall is a consideration when leaving the grasses through winter. If snow happens to be heavy, it will cause the grasses to fall and they will not come back up. This can make the job of cutting in late winter more difficult.

A few examples of warm season grasses are Prairie Cord Grass (Spartina), Switch Grass (Panicum), Hardy Pampas Grass (Erianthus), and Perennial Fountain Grass (Pennisetum).

Cool season grasses should be cut back in very early spring. If these grasses are cut too short, it will harm the plant. Therefore, cut only about two-thirds of the plant.

First Season of

Pollinator Garden

When: 3 p.m. Oct. 28

What: Explore how the garden came to be, the steps taken to plan / implement the garden, some of the plants that were included, the pollinators it has attracted, and how it has changed throughout the season.

Where: Zoom videoconference

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538; register at http://go.osu.edu/salemgarden

Making Jerky

When: 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 3

What: Join OSU Extension experts to learn the science behind preservation so you can preserve a high-quality, safe product that your family can enjoy.

Where: Zoom videoconference

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538; register at go.osu.edu/fall2020foodpreservationseries

Humans and

Wildlife

When: 6:30 p.m. Nov. 9

What: People have changed Ohio’s landscape since the time of the earliest land surveys in the late 1700s. Wildlife was affected by these changes and some species have responded and adapted to urban (developed) areas. Learn how and why wildlife thrive, understand human influence and learn how to prevent human-wildlife conflict.

Where: Zoom videoconference

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538; register at https://go.osu.edu/humanandwildlife

Making

Sauerkraut

When: 4 to 5 p.m. Nov. 10

What: Join OSU Extension experts to learn the science behind preservation so you can preserve a high-quality, safe product that your family can enjoy.

Where: Zoom videoconference

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538; register at go.osu.edu/fall2020foodpreservationseries

Greenhouse

Gardening

When: 3 p.m. Nov. 12

What: Greenhouse gardening is a presentation about items to consider when building a greenhouse, sample construction, heating and cooling your greenhouse and managing any pest infestations. The PowerPoint presentation will include many pictures and links to other sources for more information.

Where: Zoom videoconference

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538; register at go.osu.edu/greenhouse

Plant and Pest

Diagnostic Clinic

When: 10 a.m. to noon Thursdays

What: Join the overview session, then go to a breakout room with a Master Gardener, who will answer your questions, and show pictures of the actual plant or insect.

Where: Zoom videoconference. Those without Internet can call 330-533-5538 to explain their question. They will get a call back from a Master Gardener.

Cost: Free

Info: 330-533-5538

Using Zoom

Until OSU Extension Mahoning County can resume face-to-face programming, our events and classes will be virtual via the Zoom platform. You can download the Zoom app or program to your media device by visiting the following link https://zoom.us/support/download.

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