Fall Care for Perennials - Let Them Stand
Let ‘em stand for winter - perennials that is - for a healthier more floriferous garden next year.
If you like things neat and tidy you’ve probably been cutting your perennial garden to the ground each fall. Consider leaving them stand to provide a bit of winter interest, food for the birds, and habitat for our good bugs.
Always remove diseased and insect infested plants. These serve as a source for problems in next year’s garden. And consider thinning out some of the seedheads on heavy seeders like coneflower and Rudbeckia to reduce next year’s crop of seedlings.
Then gently rake or blow fall leaves off the crown of the plants. These can smother overwintering perennials. Instead, shred fall leaves with the mower and mulch the soil around the plants.
This is also a good time to spread an inch of compost over the soil to further improve your plant’s health.
A bit more information: Use the time you save by leaving your perennials stand to add a few bulbs to your garden. Watch my Melinda’s Garden Moment video, Planting Bulbs, for tips on planting bulbs.