I leave a few cone flowers and sunflowers for the birds, but if the plants look spent and unsightly, I cut them right to the ground and clean up the debris. This is because I know from experience that I want the beds clear before the spring daffodils and other bulbs bloom.
Spring is often cold and wet, and the ground is muddy, and this makes me want to huddle in the house. The fall weather makes me energized so I am more likely to do a thorough job of garden clean up.
Sometimes I put compost that I have created over the summer on the perennial beds, and sometimes when I am feeling particularly energized I mulch all of the beds with commercial mulch. A few dry leaves left on the beds is a good thing too.
I also look at the garden with a critical eye to see where I could add a shrub or two, with fall foliage color to jazz things up a bit for future years.
I sometimes succumb and buy lots of plants on sale, but I really need to do less of this. Although late sales seem to be saving us money, plants I buy in late fall don’t often survive the winter unless they have at least six weeks before a hard freeze to settle in. So unless I have time for their roots to get really established, I am going to try not to be seduced by late fall bargains.
This is Moya Andrews, and today we focused on fall clean-up.