I am one of those people who does not trim my ornamental grass back in the fall, I would much rather leave it in the yard throughout the winter to enjoy seeing it during snow storms rattle back and forth.
Now that it is spring, there is a good chance many of you have already trimmed the dead grass down close to the ground in order to allow the new growth a place to come in and get sun light. I would venture a guess to say it is getting close to the last chance for trimming back the old grass because soon you are going to have the new spring growth that you do not want to cut.
Worst case scenario-you have to trim your ornamental grass higher off the ground so that you don't damage the new growth, but allow the old to be reduced as much as possible.
Luckily, if you can't even do that, one year not cutting back the old stuff will not likely kill your grass-but it certainly is not optimal.
I have even had luck just pulling the old grass strands out one by one and since they had been dead so long they usually just pulled right up. The difficult part of this option is that I have several ornamental grasses that are all a food in diameter or more! So that is a lot of extra work that could certainly have been avoided.
Tips for quick and efficient grass cutting:
-Use tape or a zip tie to hold the grass together in a bundle before you start cutting it. This makes the clean up into a lawn bag much faster and easier.
-electric hedge clippers work well to cut straight through it quickly and easily.
-hand pruners will work, but often times the grass will bend rather than cut from the blade. It takes a skilled hand and an exact angle to cut it rather than crush and bend it.