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Strategies for a Low Maintenance Perennial Garden

Look for ways to reduce maintenance and still have a beautiful perennial garden.

Spring and fall clean ups reduce the on-going maintenance in your perennial garden. Horticulturist Janet Macunovich recommends dividing maintenance into Must Do’s, Should Do’s and Might Do’s. This is a great way to reduce what may seem like an overwhelming project into manageable tasks.

The Must do’s are tasks that insure your plants will survive -- watering as needed, weed control, including edging and managing plant-threatening pests.

Should Do tasks include mulching, fertilizing and winterizing as needed and can be done after you take care of the Must do’s. These could wait a year but should be addressed in the near future. I find doing the Should Do’s eventually reduces time spent on the Must Do’s.

Might Do’s are those tasks like deadheading and staking that just boost the beauty factor.

A bit more information:  If the Must Do’s are difficult for you to accomplish, consider asking for help. Hire a professional to help with spring and fall clean up. Or ask a friend or newbie gardener.  I find gardeners with limited space or those with limited experience like to help gardeners with room to grow and knowledge to share.

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