Pampas grass has been considered as a prized ornamental for a long time. However, with its vitality, pampas grass can grow deep in the ground, making it difficult to rid of them. Also, it will need a lot of strength and time to accomplish this with hands, and eventually, you may end up with unneeded fatigue and blisters.
Hence, if you are still wondering whether the plant in your lawn is pampas grass or not and how to get rid of pampas grass, then continue with this article! You will find out many interesting ways to handle it.
What is Pampas Grass?
But before going to detailed solutions to pampas grass, we should know what it is and its characteristics.
Although any grass of the genus Cortaderia is often referred to as “pampas grass”, it is often a name assigned to a species of Cortaderia Selloana. They are native plants to the temperate regions of central Chile, central and northern Argentina, and southernmost Brazil.
Pampas grass is a fast-growing and large ornamental grass. It takes its name from the South American lowlands, Pampas, where it originated. With graceful, curved leaves, wonderfully decorated flowers, and bunches of seeds, a clump of pampas grass is completely beautiful in late summer or late fall. It grows best when the winters are not too cold.
With its stunning appearance, pampas grass is planted on golf courses, from the entryways to fairway boundaries, and teeing areas.
Why You Should Get Rid Of Pampas Grass
Across the southern United States, pampas are often considered invasive and not recommended for garden use. In some regions, such as Southern California or Hawaii, this grass is banned from sale or cultivation.
Why is it? Because this type of grass is extremely competitive.
To be more specific, if you grow any type of crop next to the pampas grass, then it will compete for the nutrients in the soil, making your crop unable to have needed nutrients to grow and bear flowers and fruits. In the long run, your plants might die. And that is why we should get rid of them.
Why Pampas Grass is Difficult to Get Rid Of
Pampas grass is a perennial evergreen grass that usually gathers in clumps. Besides, their roots grow deep in the ground and can be up to 3.5m long. Thus, to kill the pampas roots, it requires deep digging to reach the roots.
What is more, pampas grass can quickly spread in the area due to the wind dispersal of its tiny particles. Each flower can comprise a large number of seeds, which can be up to 100,000. and thus, during their lifetime, they can germinate a million times, posing a huge threat to many gardeners.
How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass
Many people mistakenly think that we can get rid of pampas grass through burning. In fact, burning pampas grass only makes everything get worse. They can even grow more rapidly.
In the meantime, some try killing pampas grass by hand, which only proves that it has a giant root system. Digging the roots of pampas grass up is not a perfect solution to remove the grass on your landscape. The most perfect solution to get rid of them is controlling through the combination of physical and chemical methods.
First of all, let’s talk a little about the physical method. If the pampas grass is still in its early stage, you can remove grass manually or you can hire a local landscape maintenance crew. It can be a tedious and tiring task, but this indeed helps you control the growth of pampas grass.
But what should we do if the pampas grass has grown in your lawn for a long time? Then, chemical control will be a better choice. Firstly, you should cut the grass as short as possible. After mowing the grass, you can apply herbicides like Haloxyfop or Glyphosate.
But what is the difference between the Haloxyfop Herbicide and Glyphosate Herbicide?
Hyloxyfop herbicide is a white crystalline solid that is formulated as an emulsifiable concentrate to handle some specific types of grass. However, it is a general chemical and is not antagonistic, which makes it not as effective as the Glyphosate Herbicide. Besides, the use of this type of chemical is unsafe, causing environmental issues and health concerns.
Meanwhile, the Glyphosate herbicide is a common kind of chemical that is used to control the growth of pampas grass. It is known to accomplish this much better due to its high solubility.
The ideal amount of herbicide needed to get rid of pampas grass is 150 ml and 100 ml when it comes to Haloxyfop and Glyphosate, respectively.
You can carry out this method through 4 simple steps.
- Step 1: Remove the drooping foliage of the pampas grass with a chainsaw or a machete until reaching the root crown.
- Step 2: Use a pickaxe to loosen the root crown so that it can be pried more easily from the ground.
- Step 3: Use a shovel to eliminate the rootstock.
- Step 4: Apply an herbicide to hinder the growth of pampas grass.
Some Useful Tips
No matter what method you are choosing, it is essential to remove the pampas grass. However, there are some gardening guides you should know to avoid unnecessary fatigue.
Firstly, if you find it hard to deal with tall grasses, try using the shears and remember to sharpen them. It will be much easier.
Secondly, when you have dug the rootstock out, please check whether there is any root remained under the ground. Pampas grass has an exceptional vitality and deep-seated roots, and without clearing the roots completely, it will grow again.
It would be best to put on long sleeve shirts, pants, and rubber gloves when working with pampas grass. Their leaves have sharp edges and can cause itches.
Also, to make it easier for removing pampas grass manually, home gardeners can use weed eaters or lawnmowers. After that, all the lawn grasses should be put in garbage bags to prevent them from re-growing.
The final thing is to harvest all the crops before digging if there is any nearby. This is to protect your plants from being harmed.
Though the pampas grass plant is used for aesthetic purposes in many areas, it can cause many annoying problems if not carefully handled due to its competitiveness and vitality. Still, you can rid your lawn of them with our simple methods.
Hopefully, our article on how to get rid of pampas grass can make this task less daunting. Good luck!