Pampas Grass is a tall, flowering plant that is native to South America. It has been introduced in many parts of the world, including the UK, where it is often grown for ornamental purposes.
While it may look beautiful in gardens and public spaces, Pampas Grass can quickly become invasive and difficult to control. If left unmanaged, it can spread rapidly, displacing native plant species and disrupting the local ecosystem.
In this article, we will discuss various methods for getting rid of Pampas Grass in the UK, without the use of chemicals. We will also explore ways to prevent it from growing back, ensuring that your garden or local environment remains healthy and vibrant.
So, if you’re dealing with Pampas Grass, read on to learn how to get rid of it once and for all.
How to Get Rid of Pampas Grass
Cutting back Pampas Grass is a simple and effective way to control its growth. This method involves cutting the grass down to the ground, preventing it from growing taller and spreading. Here are the tools needed and the steps to follow:
What You Need
- Protective clothing
- Loppers or a pruning saw
- Spade/ Garden Fork
Step 1 – Prepare Your Tools
Before you start removing pampas grass, you need to make sure that you have the necessary tools to do the job effectively. You will need a spade or shovel, a fork, and a wheelbarrow or bucket for disposing of the roots.
A spade or fork is essential for digging around the root system of the pampas grass. You’ll need to use it to loosen the soil and create enough space to allow you to gently lift the roots without damaging them, making it easier to remove the entire root system.
Finally, you’ll need a wheelbarrow or bucket to dispose of the roots. It’s important not to compost the roots, as they can still be viable and may regrow.
Before you start using your tools, it’s important to make sure they are clean and in good condition. Check the blades of your spade or shovel for any signs of rust or damage and sharpen them if necessary. Make sure the tines of your fork are straight and not bent or broken.
Step 2 – Wear Protective Clothing
Pampas grass has sharp leaves that can easily cut your skin, so it’s important to wear protective clothing when removing it. This will help to prevent any injuries and ensure that you are comfortable while working.
When working with pampas grass, it’s recommended to wear long-sleeved shirts and trousers to protect your arms and legs. Choose clothing that is made of thick and durable material, such as denim or canvas, to provide maximum protection.
In addition to clothing, it’s also important to wear gloves (amazon link – opens in a new tab) to protect your hands. Choose gloves that are thick and made of a durable material such as leather or heavy-duty rubber. Gloves will help protect your hands from the sharp leaves and thorns of the pampas grass.
Step 3 – Cut Back the Grass
Before you can start digging out the root system of the pampas grass, you need to cut back the visible part of the plant. Use a pair of pruning shears or a saw to cut the grass down to ground level. This will make it easier to see the root system and dig it out.
If the pampas grass is very tall or has a lot of foliage, you may need to use a saw to cut it down. Be careful when using a saw and wear protective clothing and safety glasses to protect yourself from any debris that may be kicked up.
When cutting the pampas grass, make sure to cut it down as close to the ground as possible. This will help to minimize any regrowth and make it easier to remove the root system.
Once the pampas grass is cut back, you’ll be able to see the root system and start digging it out. By cutting back the grass first, you’ll be able to work more efficiently and effectively when removing the plant.
Step 4 – Dig Around the Root System
After cutting back the pampas grass, it’s time to start digging around the root system. Using your spade or shovel, dig around the base of the plant, loosening the soil as you go. Be sure to dig deep enough to get all of the roots, which can be several feet long.
When digging, start at the outer edge of the plant and work your way towards the centre. This will help to loosen the soil and make it easier to lift the root system out of the ground.
Be careful not to damage any nearby plants or landscaping features while digging around the root system.
Step 5 – Lift the Roots Out of the Ground
Once you have dug around the root system of the pampas grass and loosened the soil, it’s time to start lifting the roots out of the ground. To do this, use a fork to carefully lift the roots out of the ground.
Be gentle when lifting the roots out of the ground, as even a small piece left behind can regrow into a new plant. Take care not to damage the roots, as this can also lead to regrowth.
As you lift the roots out of the ground, shake off any excess soil to make it easier to transport the roots for disposal. Place the roots in a wheelbarrow or bucket for disposal.
If there are any stubborn roots that won’t come out of the ground, use your spade or shovel to dig around them and try lifting them out again with the fork. Be persistent and thorough, as removing the entire root system is essential for preventing regrowth.
Step 6 – Dispose of the Roots
Once you have lifted the pampas grass roots out of the ground, it’s important to dispose of them properly. Pampas grass roots can be a particular pain, as they can still be viable and regrow even if they are not fully intact.
It’s not recommended to compost the roots, as they can still be viable and may regrow. If you want to compost the roots, make sure they are completely shredded or place them in a hot composter where they will be heated to a high temperature.
The best way to dispose of the pampas grass roots is to bag them up and put them in the garbage bin for collection. Alternatively, you can take them to a local garden waste disposal centre or arrange for a green waste collection service to dispose of them for you.
Note: It’s important not to dump the roots in natural areas or compost piles, as this can lead to the spread of pampas grass.
Step 7 – Check for Regrowth
After removing the pampas grass, it’s important to monitor the area for any signs of regrowth. Even if you’ve removed the entire root system, there is still a chance that new shoots may emerge.
Check the area regularly for any new growth, and if you see any new shoots emerging, dig them out immediately. Be thorough in your monitoring and removal, as even a small piece of the root system can regrow into a new plant.
It’s also a good idea to keep an eye on neighbouring areas to make sure the pampas grass hasn’t spread to other parts of your garden or nearby natural areas. If you notice any new growth in these areas, take steps to remove it as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the invasive species.
Other Ways to Get Rid of Pampas Grass
In addition to digging out the root system, there are other methods for getting rid of pampas grass:
Chemical Control: Chemical herbicides can be used to kill pampas grass. It’s important to choose a herbicide that is specifically labelled for pampas grass and follow the instructions carefully. This method may require multiple applications and can take some time to be effective.
Burning: Burning the pampas grass can be an effective way to kill it, but it should only be done by professionals or under the supervision of a fire department. This method can be dangerous and should only be considered in certain situations.
Covering: Covering the pampas grass with a tarp or black plastic can help to smother it and kill it off. This method requires several months of coverage and may not be practical for large areas.
Grazing: In some areas, grazing animals such as goats or sheep can be used to control pampas grass. The animals will graze on the grass and help to keep it from growing back.
It’s important to note that each of these methods has its own advantages and disadvantages, and not all methods will be effective for every situation. It’s important to research and carefully consider each option before deciding which method to use for getting rid of pampas grass.
In conclusion, getting rid of pampas grass from your garden in the UK requires a careful and methodical approach. By preparing your tools properly, wearing protective clothing, and cutting back the grass before digging around the root system, you can remove the entire plant and prevent regrowth. It’s important to dispose of the roots properly and monitor the area for any signs of regrowth.
Other methods such as chemical control, burning, covering, and grazing can also be effective for getting rid of pampas grass, but each method has its own advantages and disadvantages.
Garden Doctor Tips
“Pampas grass is dormant during the winter, making it easier to cut back and remove without damaging other plants in your garden!”
“A digging bar can be a useful tool for loosening the soil around the pampas grass root system, making it easier to remove!”
“If you’re not comfortable removing pampas grass yourself, consider hiring a professional landscaper or removal service to do the job for you!”
“After removing the pampas grass, covering the area with a layer of mulch can help prevent regrowth and improve the soil quality!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Is it illegal to cut pampas grass UK?
No, it is not illegal to cut pampas grass in the UK. However, it’s important to be aware that pampas grass is an invasive species and may require special precautions when being removed.
How do you remove pampas grass UK?
To remove pampas grass in the UK, you can use a spade or shovel to dig around the root system, loosening the soil. Use a fork to lift the roots out of the ground, taking care not to damage them. Place the roots in a wheelbarrow or bucket for disposal. Be sure to wear protective clothing, monitor the area for regrowth, and dispose of the roots properly.
How do you get rid of pampas?
To get rid of pampas grass, you can use various methods such as digging out the root system, applying herbicides, burning the plant, covering it with tarps, or using grazing animals. The best method will depend on the size of the plant, the location, and your personal preference.
Does pampas grass have deep roots?
Yes, pampas grass has deep roots that can be several feet long. It’s important to dig deep enough to get all of the roots when removing the plant, as even a small piece left behind can regrow into a new plant.
Should you burn pampas grass?
Burning pampas grass can be an effective way to kill it, but it should only be done by professionals or under the supervision of a fire department. This method can be dangerous and should only be considered in certain situations.
Is pampas grass invasive in the UK?
Yes, pampas grass is an invasive species in the UK. It can grow quickly and take over large areas, outcompeting native plants and disrupting local ecosystems. It’s important to remove pampas grass carefully and dispose of the roots properly to prevent the plant from spreading.
Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.