Now’s the time for us mild-winter gardeners to prune back many of our ornamental grasses. But how do you know which to prune back all the way, which to deadhead, and which to leave be? Well, if your grass is an evergreen and is still looking great, then leave it be unless you want to clean it up a bit. But if it’s gone brown and dormant, it’s time to trim. I probably don’t need to say this as it is winter, but pull on some long sleeves and long pants, and wear gloves – Miscanthus blades in particular can give you a stinging cut, and I’ve gotten rashes from getting pricked up by them while pruning. Now, for your little dormant grasses, like Japanese forest grass, simply take your handheld hedging shears (I love these Fiskars Power Gear Hedging Shears (click to see my video review); the gear makes them cut through things like butter) and prune every stem down to 2” tall. They’ll be back soon! For your monster ginormous intimidating grasses (Miscanthus), you can prune one of two ways: Either cut the whole thing back to 6-10” tall using your handheld hedging shears, starting from the very outside and cutting thin sections of grass at a time until you are done. Or, bundle up the grass with twine so it stays together in a column of foliage, enlist a friend to hold it up (for goodness’ sake don’t trim their ankles!), and use your gas or electric hedging shears to cut the whole thing to 6-10”. Then rake up the mess and if you like, plan to apply a bit of mulch after, which covers up the inevitable grass bits which won’t rake up nicely.