Ornamental grasses are not the typical bluegrasses or other varieties that you may use to create your lawn. Ornamental grasses are larger plants that are used in gardens, flower beds and patio borders where the grass has freedom to grow large and produce flower stalks. Pampas and Ravenna grasses are common ornamental varieties. A common problem is removing these plants. Ornamental grasses have complicated root bundles that intertwine and spread, making it difficult to dig them up.
If your ornamental grass is large, divide and conquer. Start by cutting off the stalks close to the base. This will not stop the ornamental grasses from growing, but it will make the spread of the plant easier to see. Get a sharp shovel and separate the grass into several sections. This will make it easier for you to remove the grass entirely. You may also need to remove nearby plants if the grass is overgrown.
If ornamental grasses are left too long without maintenance, they can grow too large and establish a large root base that can extend into the soil. Just some of the these roots can grow back into new plants, so you must try to remove as many as you can. Dig down deep with your shovel and remove the entire root mass.
If you have only small ornamental grass plants in your yard, trim them down and apply a strong herbicide to kill them. You may also want to spray the ground if you dug out a larger variety to discourage any missed shoots from growing back.
Ornamental grasses can be hardy, so don't be surprised if you see new shoots poking out of the ground next year, even if you fully removed the plant. To get rid of these, simply dig them out again. The new shoots may be annoying, but they will at least show where the roots are that you missed the first time around. This should completely remove the grass and leave the area open for whatever type of landscaping you want to do.
Tyler Lacoma has worked as a writer and editor for several years after graduating from George Fox University with a degree in business management and writing/literature. He works on business and technology topics for clients such as Obsessable, EBSCO, Drop.io, The TAC Group, Anaxos, Dynamic Page Solutions and others, specializing in ecology, marketing and modern trends.